June 13, 2017
Gender diversity. What’s in it for women?
By: Céline Laurenceau

Hiring more women is necessary for Accenture to achieve parity in the workplace and achieve our goals for gender equality. In fact, here in the Gallia region (France, Belgium and Netherlands), we currently have more than 50 open positions, which we are looking to fill by hiring highly skilled women. Finding the right candidates who fit the required skillsets and unique culture of Accenture is no small task—and retaining them is even tougher. But Accenture’s initiatives to drive gender equality and support women to become successes are what I believe will attract them to join—and what will incentivize them to stay.

We have been working on gender equality for the last 12 years and. Currently, in France, there are only 21 women, out of 250 MDs. We always aim to balance out our workforce and increase diversity. For example, we might set goals to hire 40 percent of graduates, 50 percent of new joiners that are female and maybe 40 percent experienced hires. We try and place KPIs everywhere, so that we are firmly committed to important causes.

After setting and fulfilling these KPIs, the next step is to make sure the ones who join are successful. For a new starter, and especially for women, I think Accenture can be quite a complex place to navigate. In fact, with the right help and support, it becomes apparent that Accenture is actually a fantastic company to work at.

My advice to young women is to never underestimate the power of asking for help. I have witnessed far too many women leaving, purely because they never tried to balance their personal life events with their career commitments. For example, some women jump to the conclusion that you cannot be a mother and work. But simply by asking how Accenture can help you achieve that balance will reveal that we have support networks, great mentors and a host of talented female leaders—who have had children, been on maternity leave, handled sickness, looked after ill parents and suffered relationship breakups. They’ve been through it and succeeded. And so can you, if you allow yourself.

To counter this, we are actively taking measures to assess exactly why some women leave Accenture at certain times of their lives. I have asked our HR leaders to have a two-hour face-to-face meeting with all our female MDs to make sure they are happy and to support them with individual action plans. By asking important questions, such as whether they received a promotion and if they used their vacation time, and ensuring that we understand their needs, we can retain talent.

As well as the attraction and retention of new talent, we should also be looking at potential senior female hires who we can lure back into the fold with our new incentives and initiatives. These are women who may have moved onto working with our competitors, whose invaluable skills we could use once again. To do this, we need to promote our ongoing positive stance on gender diversity, our goals to recognize parity in the workplace and, of course, how valued and appreciated they will be when they rejoin. The strides we have made are incredible, and I’m sure that the attraction of returning to Accenture would benefit both parties immensely.

I cannot stress highly enough that when a woman becomes a leader at Accenture, you can believe she has legitimately earned that position. Achieving great things here is a remarkable achievement that should be applauded. That is why I love working here, and that is also one of the reasons that I am motivated to carry on growing my career here.

Find your next role at Accenture, where you can be a leader and achieve great things.

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