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Stephanie Sadowski
North America Lead for Financial Services Distribution and Marketing Business Service
December 12, 2017

Speak Up for Gender-Equal Success

I’m all about figuring out what I want and how I’m going to get it. Nothing deters me. From being the only girl in the advanced physics class to not being afraid to stand up for what I believe in, I’ve always been empowered to do what I think is right, versus what everyone else thinks is right.

I’m not a follower; I like to blaze my own trail. That being said, I’ve had many great coaches along the way. These are people that helped me make decisions, people I trust and who I can call and talk things through with. Career advancement takes hard work, perseverance and, importantly, diverse thoughts and perspectives.

At all levels, Accenture is committed to inclusion and diversity. But it’s not just about seeking diverse talent. It’s about balancing talent with the right skills for the role. And it’s about making your voice heard and speaking up for your accomplishments.

When we talk about diversity, we must think about gender diversity—the two go hand in hand. Men and women should be on the same playing field, but that’s not always the case. One recent example helps to explain a potential reason why.

Recently, I was involved in a management consulting development program about employee experience. It covered subjects such as hiring, onboarding and career development. What most interested me was how differently men and women interacted with me during the program. After nine months, I took the women to dinner and asked them how many offered to take me out for a coffee to get to know me better. Only one woman raised her hand. I told them that all their male counterparts in the course had asked me. I learned that the reason the women didn’t ask for my time was because they were worried that I was either too busy, or that they would be interrupting me.

In general, I find that men tend to be better at upward communication about their achievements, while women feel that, if they do a good job, they will be automatically rewarded. But the truth is, unless they speak up, they will be left behind. Women need to simply raise awareness of what they’re working on and make their achievements known.

In many cases, the reason some colleagues are recognized while others are not is simple—it’s because those that advance share their successes with a wider audience. It’s not about being male or female; it’s about being visible.

My team is highly diverse and gender balanced, so when we are interviewing candidates, we consider who will represent us in a diverse way and reflect today’s society. We find that our clients love this attitude, but, as with anything, we are always looking for ways to improve. When hiring, we make a concerted effort to achieve parity. Our clients have commented positively about our efforts, and it’s this forward-thinking attitude that gives me great pride to work at Accenture.

Find an opportunity in the workforce of the future at Accenture today.

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