Once again we’re opening up the First Women Awards for our readers to decide which company deserves the prestigious Business of the Year title.
All shortlisted companies have spoken to First Women about efforts to further the gender agenda.
In this profile, we’re looking at Deloitte, which, across its global operations, employs 244,400 personnel, of whom 45% are women.
At partner level, female representation has increased from 14% three years ago, to 18% today. The target is to reach 25% by 2020.
Like other firms of its calibre, Deloitte faces the challenge of ensuring its women advance into leadership at an equal rate to men and retaining females when they get to particular stages in their career.
Three years ago Deloitte developed a strategy to address both the drop off in female numbers at manager to senior manager level and the declining number of women joining at entry level.
Speaking to First Women, Emma Codd, Deloitte’s managing partner for talent said: “We have stripped apart our current recruitment process, and looked at where we might not be as attractive to women—where the systems have inadvertently made women uncomfortable.
“For example, we changed all our recruitment advertising material to make it gender neutral, and have taken it right back to our advertising on university campuses.”
To redress the balance at partnership level, Deloitte ran a pilot development programme this year for 160 of its highest potential female managers.
“We put them on a programme to ensure they have sponsors, the right appraiser and a coach. They are also able to get on the right projects and are able to showcase their talent.
“Each individual has a personalised development plan. We also have a development scheme within Deloitte University in Brussels, where we send all our people.”
Find out more about Deloitte’s agile working programme and vote for the Business of the Year at Real Business.
Read our other six Business of the Year profiles below.