Women Athletes Business Network opens applications for female talent

14 October 2016 Consultancy.uk

One of the many avenues being developed to fostering a new generation of women leaders, is supporting former top female sports people enter the business world. Against this backdrop, EY and the International Women’s Forum launched the Women Athletes Business Network three years ago, which brings together 25 top performing women with mentors to fast track their entry into business leadership. Applications for the 2017 edition are currently open to aspiring female athletes.

According to a study by McKinsey & Company, gender disparity in the work place comes with a hefty price tag – estimated to cost the globe $28 trillion in foregone GDP by 2025. Women tend to, on average, be underrepresented across the entire corporate ladder, with low representation in particular visible in strategic decision making business positions. The lack of female leaders is, found another report, from Grant Thornton, costing UK organisations billions.

In recent years, the consulting industry too has been taking an interest in reducing disparity levels within its own sector. One of the advocates for improved diversity in the labour market is EY, with 231,000 in 150+ countries one of the largest professional services firms of the world.

Women Athletes Business Network

Three years ago the Big Four teamed up with the International Women’s Forum (IWF) to set up the Women Athletes Business Network (WABN) programme. The initiative aims at increasing the number of women in leadership positions, as well support women athletes’ transition from leading performances in sports to commanding performances in business.

Women Athletes Business Network opens applications for top performing women

The programme brings together 25 top performing female athletes, seeking to diversify their skill-sets to include business performance, with 25 mentors from the business community. According to the organisers, the programme builds on research that shows that sport is elemental in developing leadership and team building skills. Elite sports people are described as people who, by nature, are "high achievers, influential leaders and team players – ones who can make an impact, not only on the next generation of women in sport, but also within their communities and the world around them.”

EY and IWF have opened the applications process for the 2017 edition of the WABN Programme, which runs to 2 November. The one year programme aims at developing the potential of women outside of sport, by carefully selecting a mentor for the 25 participants from the IWF’s network of 6,400 senior women executives in 34 countries.

Beth Brooke-Marciniak, EY Global Vice Chair of Public Policy, Leader of the Women Athletes Business Network and one of UK's 100 most influential LGBT executives, says, “Our research has shown that a background in sport can help accelerate a woman’s professional career. The drive, discipline and dedication of elite female athletes, in particular, make them a unique leadership talent pool. By pairing these 25 inspiring women with top female executives, we want to nurture their leadership skills for extraordinary success not only in sport but also in business.”

Teresa Weintraub, President of the International Women’s Forum, adds, "Female athletes spend the entirety of their sporting career pushing themselves and their teammates towards excellence. In most respects they already are strong leaders. The EY WABN Mentoring Program builds on those strengths and provides the opportunity to be mentored, challenged, inspired and equipped to rise to the highest levels of leadership.”

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Two consultancies among UK’s best office breakout spaces

05 April 2019 Consultancy.uk

A pair of Bristol-based consulting firms have been recognized for having among the UK’s best office break areas. People Source Consulting and Ashville were marked out for their vibrant and fun spaces, which feature table games, picnic areas, and even beer.

With competition for talent in the UK continuing to heat up – as the nation continues to enjoy its highest employment rate since the 1970s – firms have been upping their game on multiple fronts to help attract the cream of the crop. In order to successfully court the best candidates, companies are not only taking into account pay and benefits, but are also working to lure potential employees to their firms with the promise of innovative and vibrant work spaces.

In late 2018, employment website Glassdoor announced ten offices had been named the coolest places to work in the UK. Among those lauded for their work in enriching the working day of their employees was Capco – the only consultancy to make the grade.

Two consultancies among UK’s best office breakout spaces

Now, HomeLeisureDirect.com, a leading games room specialist based in the UK, has announced the ten offices it believes have made the cut for its inaugural Office Breakout of the Year competition. The contest has pitted a diverse range of companies against one another to be named the best office-based breakout space that the UK has to offer. Research from HomeLeisureDirect.com recently revealed that 65% of workers would consider switching employers for a better working environment, making the appearance of two consultancies on the list especially important for their recruitment ambitions.

People Source Consulting – a recruitment business from Bristol – hosts a brightly lit and vibrant space, complete with faux grass and picnic benches, along with a well-stocked beverage fridge – alcohol appears to be an option – as well as an array of tabletop games, including pool. Ashville, an asset management consultancy also based in Bristol, meanwhile boasts a break room decked out with table football, a table tennis court and even arcade machines.

Two consultancies among UK’s best office breakout spaces

The other eight finalists exhibit offerings including swinging hammocks, scooters and a bizarre and brilliant variety of other features. The other nominees are accessplanit – a software business from Lancaster; Digital 22 – a marketing and design agency from Clitheroe; Roc Search – a tech and engineering recruitment specialist from Reading; Sales-i – a provider of sales analytics software from Solihull; SEC Group – an office fit out company from Stevenage; SLG Brands – a portfolio of beauty brands with a head office in Cheltenham; Zest Digital – a digital marketing agency from Oxford; and 16i – a digital design agency also from Cheltenham.

Andy Beresford, MD of HomeLeisureDirect.com, said, “According to recent reports, the UK is currently seeing record levels of employment, and while that might be a great statistic, the knock-on effect is that it’s becoming harder and harder to recruit top talent… Being named as a finalist gives those shortlisted businesses the opportunity to showcase how they go about delivering a better working environment for their employees, with some top effort evidently involved judging by what we’ve seen.”