Women Leaders in Management Consulting 2015

20 October 2015 Consultancy.uk

Consulting Magazine has revealed its 2015 list of the 12 most influential women in management consulting. The female leaders work at twelve different firms across the industry, ranging from the strategy consultancies to the Big Four and boutiques.

Every year Consulting Magazine, a US-based magazine for the consulting profession, conducts research into the role and accomplishments of women in the industry. Over the years consulting firms have taken great strides in improving diversity and introducing women-friendly policies, all in all leading to a growing role of women in the profession. As it stand women make up about a quarter of the consulting profession, yet percentages differ across segments and firms. At KPMG for instance women make up 46% of the total workforce, while at rival PwC half of the graduates recruited globally in the past 12 months were women. In the more male-dominated domains such as strategy consulting, or IT / technology, the ratio of men to women is however significantly higher, both in terms of current shares as well as in terms of new entrants.

To shine a spotlight on women in the consulting industry that have realised major accomplishments for their clients and their firms, Consulting Magazine nine years ago launched the annual ‘Women Leaders in Consulting’ competition. This year the cases of dozens of female leaders were reviewed, with the jury highlighting that the quality of the nominations was higher than ever. Following a detailed evaluation process, the jury yesterday unveiled the twelve winners across the four categories.

Tracy Benard - Kerrie MacPherson - Laura Miles - Wendy Woods

Excellence in Leadership:
- Tracy Benard, KPMG
- Kerrie MacPherson, EY
- Laura Miles, Bain & Company
- Wendy Woods, The Boston Consulting Group

Patricia Birch - Carina Markel - Yasuma Taniguchi - Carmina Venditti

Excellence in Client Service:
- Patricia Birch, Cognizant
- Carina Markel, PwC
- Yasumi Taniguchi, Protiviti
- Carmina Venditti, Capco 

Theresa Merlino - Leslie Parker - Lauren Stark - Maria Whitman

Future Leader Award:
- Theresa (Kain) Merlino, McGladrey
- Leslie Parker, A.T. Kearney
- Lauren Stark, Slalom Consulting
- Maria Whitman, ZS Associates 

The coming year the twelve female leaders will serve as true role models within their firm and the industry*, helping to further advance the case for more women in consulting – not just an ambition based on morality or ethics, but one that can build on solid financials. In a survey held among clients of management consultancies, nine out of ten clients said they would prefer to see more women in traditionally male dominated teams. And two thirds said that, if they had to choose between two consulting teams and all other factors were equal, they’d often or always hire the team that had more women.

Lifetime Achievement Award
In addition to the twelve awards, the jury also distributed a Lifetime Achievement Award, which went to Deloitte’s Diane Davies, who passed away in March 2015. Davies was recognised for her nearly three decades at Deloitte, serving as a strategy and operations consultant, as well as a mentor and role model to all of her colleagues, but particularly women at Deloitte. She also served as Deloitte Consulting’s Chief Talent Officer and on the Deloitte US and Global Board of Directors.

The ‘Women Leaders in Consulting’ will be recognised on November 12 at the St. Regis Hotel, New York.

Related news: Women Leaders in Consulting 2014

* Note that all twelve female consultants in the ranking are based in the US, explained by the fact that Consulting Magazine predominantly focuses on the developments in the United States.

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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.