There is an industry wide gender issue in consulting, with consultancy firms typically failing to attract equal number of male and female applicants. Further, once companies have recruited women, they are struggling to hold on to female talent at the upper echelons.
Capgemini has recognised this and is actively addressing the issue: within the CDC (Consultant Development Community), we have an active group of Associate Consultants who feel passionately about promotion and supporting our female colleagues within the company and those interested in joining us. The stream is called ‘Women in Consulting’ (WiC) and there are a variety of ways you can get involved.
The ‘Women in Consulting’ team.
The first part of the initiative gives us the chance to meet with a number of senior women at Capgemini to share their reflections and their wide ranging experience more widely on the “CDC Blogs” section of our website.
Another opportunity to get involved is hosting WiC insight events at universities around the country to help us reach out to female graduates deciding on what their first career move should be. At our first university event coordinated by the team, we were heartened to be met not only with many keen female students in the audience but also to see a number of young men in attendance. It is exciting to see that the promotion of gender equality is valued by such a broad spectrum of talent and many people share our vision of a diverse future in consultancy.
Ultimately we are looking to attract the best talent, regardless of gender. We are conscious, however, that young women are often less likely to push themselves forward and recognise their own ability than men. If potential applicants can see themselves reflected in our company then we hope that they will see Capgemini as a place where they too could work.
Moreover, diversity is not just an internal issue that companies needs to solve; crucially, diversity is a market issue. In the UK alone, women influence 80 percent of buying decisions and by 2025 women are expected to own 60 percent of all personal wealth. If we want to be relevant, we need to demonstrate to our clients that we understand and can respond to these key market trends. We want our clients to see themselves and their customers reflected in who we are at Capgemini.
One of our Women in Consulting team members is also leading on a new CDC Mentor Scheme which will allow female Mentees to opt for a female Mentor. Through this initiative, we hope to build on and consolidate the support and development opportunities available to all graduates while also giving female graduates the choice of connecting with a Mentor towards whom they may feel a particular affinity. It is an excellent way to tap into more experienced consultants’ knowledge and get to know more Capgemini colleagues. And while our Associate Consultants may feel a long way off from board level, it has been consistently proven that companies with women on their boards outperform competitors with male-only boards. Businesses need to nurture and encourage their talent to see better results and this rule is applicable to talent at all levels.
Other members of our team have also been getting involved with Capgemini’s Schools Outreach Programme so that school children can see for themselves that consulting is not a male only world. Gender stereotyping starts at a very young age and while schools and businesses are making positive strides in this area, there is still some way to go.
So what does the future hold for the work of the CDC’s Women in Consulting team? Internally, our Associate Consultants can keep their eyes peeled for more news about the CDC Mentor Scheme. Externally, we will be hosting a number of Women in Consulting-specific events at universities. We also plan to run an insight evening at our offices so watch this space for more information!
If you want to keep up to date with the latest from the Women in Consulting team, you can follow @CapgeminiUKppl and search for our team hashtag, #cdcwomen