I read an article published on Financial Times online doing some research about the Big Four (audit firms), when I came across Fleur Bothwick, director of diversity and inclusive leadership at Ernst & Young. She is working hard to reach the goal of having 17 per cent female partners in the EMEIA region – Europe, Middle East, India and Africa. I always become cautious when gender quotas are discussed, because in some cases they are applied without the required modifications to the respective company’s (HR) strategy. What I have read about E&Y in this article makes me believe, that companies have finally recognized the potential of a diverse workforce and thus have adopted their strategies accordingly.
“Different programmes and networks are tailored to geographical areas but they all share the same ultimate goal: to ensure the reputation and revenues of the firm and the retention of high-flying staff. Retaining and promoting women is not just the right thing to do but makes hard commercial sense”, Ms Bothwick says. In my opinion, this is really good news – companies of the might of the Big Four have realized the commercial perspective of diversity. Programmes such as Globnal Next Gen or the Navigator, for career planning; sponsorship programmes targeting high potential women; internal diversity score cards are used in the sense of diversity and inclusive leadership as defined by Ernst&Young:
“Diversity is the demographic mix in a given environment which includes both seen and unseen differences and Inclusiveness is how we make the mix work by creating an environment where all people feel valued and are able to achieve their potential”. (MaS)
The full article can be retrieved here.