As we celebrate another International Women’s Day (IWD)—this year themed #EachforEqual—it’s a good time to reflect on the impact women are having in our own organization and beyond. I am lucky enough to have a career that spans more than 25 years at Accenture. Now, as the Chief Information Officer for our Global IT business, I am proud to be living proof of the clear and supportive approach to gender equality shown by our company every day.

This year marks the 16th anniversary of Accenture’s participation in an event that boasts a 111-year old history. Here’s a flavor of what Accenture Global IT is doing to celebrate International Women’s Day—and our broader inclusion and diversity agenda:

  • We will host our own IWD celebration for all Global IT employees on March 25 with a live broadcast where I will be joined by our Inclusion and Diversity lead, Melissa Summers. We will discuss the results of our latest Getting to Equal research (see below for more) and how it applies to Global IT. Our local offices also will be hosting events along with a broadcast where colleagues can network and swap stories on this important topic. 
  • We are running Global Leadership Sessions where our Women’s Network hosts a Guest Managing Director Series to talk about career journeys, inclusion and diversity and women in leadership.  
  • We have a focused career development program that aligns our people with the right roles, right impact, and right sponsor to support their overall career progression.
  • We ensure every employee can interact with technology and that our technology is accessible through the Accenture Global IT Accessibility Team. Read our case study or watch the video for more on how this team helps.

Across our whole organization, we’re going to be engaging in open, honest and meaningful conversations to further advance our commitment to equality for all. Accenture will play host to more than 130 events for our people, clients and partners in nearly 50 countries around the world. We’re also partnering with third-party organizations to provide one-of-a-kind content and will be releasing videos from leading women, including thoughts from our CEO Julie Sweet and Chief Leadership and HR Officer Ellyn Shook.

“Getting to Equal” research series

No IWD involvement would be complete without launching the latest in the series of our ground-breaking “Getting to Equal” research. Building on the success of “When She Rises, We All Rise” in 2018 and “Equality = Innovation” in 2019, we’re launching the 2020 update: “The Hidden Value of Culture Makers.” This new report explores why progress is slow around workplace equality with a particular emphasis on the gap that exists between leader’s perceptions and employees’ realities. To build the research, we surveyed more than 30,000 professionals and 1,700 senior executives in 28 countries. Here’s just a couple of the highlights:

  • If the leader/employee perception gap were narrowed, women—and the organizations they work for—could benefit significantly. We estimate that global profits would be higher by 33 percent, equivalent to US$3.7 trillion in 2019.
  • Organizations that prioritize culture are growing more than twice as fast as those of their peers. In fact, their sales are 2.2x higher, while their profits are 3.2x higher.

Read the research or watch the video for more.

Accenture has set bold goals to achieve a gender-balanced workforce by 2025 and many of our women are already making their presence felt in the marketplace—winning prestigious awards such as FORTUNE’s Most Powerful Women and World’s 100 Most Powerful Women. We’re also recognized as a leading organization for women, such as being listed for the last 10 consecutive years on the National Association of Female Executives Best Companies for Executive Women in the United States.

Despite the title, IWD is a celebration of equality for all that is open to all. I invite everyone around the world to join the conversation and keep up to date with what’s happening. Take a look at our news release, visit the web page, get familiar with the research and check out our videos to register your support of #EachforEqual.

Penelope Prett

Chief Information Officer

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