Women Leaders in Management Consulting 2015

20 October 2015 Consultancy.uk 3 min. read

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.