15 advisories in Best Companies for Working Mothers

05 October 2015 Consultancy.uk

Working Mother magazine has included fifteen consulting firms in its ‘100 Best Companies’ list for parents in the United States.

Since 1985 Working Mother annually conducts research into the career and financial support organisations provide to parents. The researchers look into a range of HR policies, including leave policies, workforce representation, benefits, child care, advancement programmes, flexibility policies and gender diversity in recruitment. Working Mother not only surveys the availability, usage and tracking of programmes, but also the accountability of managers who oversee them. The 100 best performing organisations are included in the so-called ‘100 Best Companies for Working Mothers’ list.

Working Mother

An analysis of the trends and scores over time reveals that companies in recent years have made significant strides in facilitating for the needs of parents. This year’s edition shows that the bar has been raised higher than ever when it comes to among others paid family leave, paid sick days, wage equality, flexibility, affordable child care and women’s advancement. Based on the average of the top 100 performers, new moms get an average of eight weeks of fully paid maternity leave, three quarters of employees use flextime, and almost half of all new hires last year were women, just to name a few examples.

The 2015 edition of the ‘100 Best Companies for Working Mothers’ includes several big names in business, including American Express, Barclays, Citi, Colgate-Palmolive, GE, Goldman Sachs, HP, Lego, L’Oréal, Procter & Gamble and Unilever. Among the 100 outstanding workplaces for parents are also fifteen consulting firms.

Accenture, A.T. Kearney, The Advisory Board Company, Bain & Company, BDO

For many of the consultancies, the recognition builds on years of strong focus on diversity, parental support and female support. McKinsey’s inclusion on the list is based on among others the firm’s growing women’s network, stepped up research on female advancement and expanded mentoring for women. Also McKinsey’s initiative to recruit female alumni of the firm for senior roles has been earmarked as a differentiator.

Rival Boston Consulting Group is praised for its strong female consulting representation, innovative leave programmes—including for adoption and paternity—and generous health-care programmes. Working Mother also paid particular attention to BCG’s women’s network. The magazine notes that “Growing at a rapid clip, the U.S. offices of BCG have (in the past five years) witnessed a 70% increase in the number of female consultants they employ. To serve the needs of this demographic, the firm offers a multifaceted women’s network, six annual professional conferences for women, and a working mothers’ group.” 

Booz Allen Hamilton, The Boston Consulting Group, Deloitte, EY, Grant Thornton

Bain & Company, named for the eighth year in a row on Working Mother 100 Best Companies, received compliments from the jury for its women-friendly recruitment policy, the high percentage of female partners have taken advantage of flex programmes, and the “excellent part-time opportunities” at the consultancy, while also achieving important promotions and milestones. Bain’s ‘Women at Bain’ platform, a strategic initiative focused on making the firm the employer of choice for the best female business talent in the world, also received much praise.

A.T. Kearney stands out for its flexible schedules and career paths, while last year management added a formal programme that facilitates discussions between colleagues about how, when and where they prefer to work—encouraging groups to adopt mutually desirable arrangements for parents. Benefits too are well cared for – primary caregivers who give birth or adopt a child get two to 10 fully paid weeks off and may return to work on a reduced schedule or stay home for the rest of the year at 20% salary (with full benefits).

IBM, KPMG, McGladrey, McKinsey & Company, PwC

The Big Four – Deloitte, EY, KPMG and PwC – have similar to the strategy consultancies become household names in Working Mother’s annual list, with accounting & consulting competitors BDO and Grant Thornton also featuring in this year’s edition. Other consultancies included are Accenture, The Advisory Board Company (a research and advisory firm with 3,400 employees in 12 offices on three continents), US public sector giant Booz Allen Hamilton, technology giant IBM and McGladrey.

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Women remain underrepresented in UK's hospitality industry leadership

12 April 2019 Consultancy.uk

Female engagement at the top level of the UK hospitality industry is still lagging, with the vast majority of decision-making roles continue to be held by men. Only 7% of the industry’s FTSE 350 CEOs are women; however, the pay gap in hospitality and leisure is far better than in other industries, at a median of approximately 7%.

The hospitality, travel and leisure (HTL) sector is one of the UK’s largest employers, with 3.2 million people working in its segments. Despite a poor 2018 in terms of tightening consumer spending, the industry is still one of the top sectors in terms of economic activity, hitting £130 billion last year – besting the UK’s automotive, pharmaceutical and aeronautical sectors’ combined activities.

While the industry is one of the country’s largest employers, it still faces considerable issues around diversity at the top. New analysis from PwC has explored the matter, as well what initiatives the industry has engaged to open up its top ranks to a more diverse background.

Female representation at board level for UK companies and HTLs

According to a survey of CEOs, Chairs or HR Directors of over 100 of the most significant leisure businesses across the UK, the hospitality industry has a relatively male-dominated top level. This lags behind the FTSE 100, where companies have female board level representation at 32.2%. Meanwhile, the figure for the combined executive committee and direct reports stands at 28%. This is well above FTSE 250 levels, where female board level representation stands at 22.4% and executive committee & direct reports stand at 27.8%.

For the hospitality industry as a whole, board level representation came in at 23.6%, with FTSE 350 for the industry performing slightly better at 25.1%, while non-listed companies performed considerably worse at 18.2%. The firm notes that the figures hide that while some companies are making strides to improve equality, others are not moving forward – with the positive result reflecting more often the good work of some, while others are not taking the issue seriously in their agenda setting.

Blind spot

The study states, however, that while the overall numbers are relatively strong, the industry has a number of acute weaknesses. These include CEO numbers, with only 7% of HTL FTSE 350 companies helmed by women and 11% of non-listed companies led by female CEOs. Meanwhile, female chairs at FTSE 350 companies for the sector stand at zero. In terms of wider diversity representation, only 1 in 33 leaders at industry companies is from a BAME background.

Pay gap for HTL and hospitality

The report noted discrepancies between FTSE 100 companies and FTSE 250 in terms of improving the number of women at executive level. The majority have met the Hampton-Alexander Review target of 33% women at board level, up from around 25% in 2016. However, the remaining ~40% are not on target, and are unlikely to meet the target by 2020. A similar trend is noted when it comes to executive committee and direct reporting numbers.

Jon Terry, Diversity & Inclusion Consulting Leader at PwC, said, "To make real progress in diversity and inclusion, businesses need to elevate it onto the CEO’s agenda and align diversity & inclusion strategy to the fundamentals of the business."

Tracking progress FTSE 250 level

However, one area where hospitality travel and leisure companies are outperforming other companies in the wider UK economy, is the mean and median pay gap between men and women. PwC found that the median of the wider UK economy comes is approximately 14% – with upper quartile companies noted for a gap of low 20%, and lower quartile companies noted for differences of around 2%.

The median pay gap for HTL comes in at well below 7%, with the median close to parity. There are considerable differences, however, with hospitality at 7%, while travel comes in considerably higher, at 22%. The latter figure reflects fewer women in higher paid pilot and technical positions within the industry.