Diversity has the potential to create a wealth of opportunities for businesses – both in terms of business outcomes as well as wider social benefits. Consulting firms have taken a keen interest in improving female representation – among other “minorities”. To improve female acquisition and retention within FTI Consulting, the firm launched FTI WIN, a global initiative which seeks to facilitate greater female participation in its management as well as improve networking opportunities.
Diversity is good for business. Companies that have a diverse workforce are considerably better at innovation and outperform their competition. This has been shown across a number of studies – also recently highlighted by BCG – with gender diverse companies 45% more likely to improve market share, achieve 53% higher returns on equity, and are 70% more likely to report successfully capturing new markets. Despite the clear rationale behind diversity, women remain under represented in businesses across the globe, with surprisingly Eastern European countries leading the way when to comes down to women at the top.
To improve the attractiveness, hiring, development and retention of talented females from around the world, FTI Consulting has launched a diversity programme that aims to grow the firm’s people diversity, as well as bring in a focus on maintaining a strong culture of diversity and inclusion in its staff programme. To do this, the business advisory firm has – with the key support of its senior leadership – established the FTI WIN community in all its major global offices. Female professionals at all levels of the firm’s ranks are eligible to partake in the community.
The goal of the programme is to improve the culture women face within the business environment toward inclusion, which includes increasing the representation of women in senior leadership positions and in critical decision-making and planning; improving the ratio of women in senior leadership positions through retention; creating additional opportunities for network with female executives and making FTI Consulting a place in which women can build long-term careers. In the long-run the global consulting firm hopes its participating employees, alumni later on, will be inspired by the community and serve as ‘female advocates’ to the initiative.
Holly Paul, Human Resources Officer of FTI Consulting and member of the FTI WIN’s Global Steering Committee, says about the programme: “FTI WIN is a tremendous way to interact and collaborate with our colleagues, both women and men, across the globe and our many businesses. This program is key to the advancement of diversity at FTI Consulting as we look to further enhance the culture of our great firm.” In November last year Paul was appointed to the Board of Directors of the AMCF.
FTI Consulting is one among many professional services firms seeking to improve the cultural inclusion for a diverse range of people in business, including women. In the UK Accenture for example recently launched its Geeks for Girls programme to increase female representation in STEM subjects, while MACE signed up to the WISE programme, also with the aim of improving female representation in STEM. In the DACH region, Bain & Company has for example for a number of years now been following a differentiated approach for recruiting female top talent.
With the large-scale efforts come also successes. Earlier this year PwC’s CEO Dennis Nally was named a Corporate Impact Champion for his successful role of promoting the HeForShe programme – within and without PwC, while two months ago six employers in the consulting industry were all named in the top 50 UK employers for women: Arup, Capgemini, EY, KPMG, McKinsey & Company and PwC.