Many Voices, One Team is a core value at Prophet, one which acknowledges and appreciates the importance of diversity to our culture and work environment. In the last several months, our firm has placed emphasis on this value with a formalized global gender diversity initiative to address the lack of female representation in leadership roles within our industry, and within our own walls.
Our effort began with organized conversations at our offices around the globe which addressed barriers to upward momentum, interest in career progression and sentiment about gender diversity and appreciation within our firm. From there, a task force was established to react to what we learned, champion gender equality and build a more inclusive and diverse Prophet.
Similar to the findings in the World Economic Forum’s 2016 “Future of Jobs Report,” women in consulting face barriers in hiring and promotion because of unconscious bias among managers and a lack of work/life balance, female role models and sometimes aspiration. We’re committed to combating these barriers because we firmly believe that a more diverse workforce and leadership builds employee engagement, enhances innovation and produces better output.
How Prophet Celebrates Gender Diversity and Supports Equality
Given this strong belief, International Women’s Day (IWD) – a global day to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievement of women – was very important to us. We celebrated not only on that day, but in the days and months that followed as well.
We Celebrate Women Who Inspire Us
In round-table discussions and on our active intranet – our people across the globe shared more than 50 stories about female leaders who have inspired them. Stories poured in of inspirational moms, grandmothers, aunts, bosses and managers, colleagues and friends – #ladybosses abound! Here are some of the women who’ve inspired our team:
- Sarah Wood, co-founder of Unruly media, for her infectious enthusiasm and “get things done” attitude
- Sangeeta Bhatia, cancer researcher, MIT professor and biotech entrepreneur, for adapting technologies developed in the computer industry for medical innovation
- Eileen Serra, CEO of Chase Card Services (former boss to one and mother to another Propheteer), was mentioned multiple times for her drive, passion and dedication to her work while gracefully balancing home and family life.
We Listen to Leaders in the Gender and Pay Equality Movement
Some of our London office attended an expert panel on the gender pay gap; featuring Jo Swinson, a former government minister who became one at 25, Pamela Hutchison, Head of Diversity and Inclusion at Bloomberg and Khaled Shahbo, UK MD of Enterprise Holdings. The event illuminated that while progress has been made on female representation at the top of global businesses, the numbers have dropped over the past 2 years. Unless we keep pushing, progress halts, or worse, we slip backwards.
We Support Women Who Are Changing the World
At WorldChicago‘s International Women’s Day Fair & Luncheon, Propheteers in Chicago listened to a keynote by Iram Shah, a global business leader, humanitarian and Prophet client about the importance of female leaders and the potential we all have to make a difference in this world.
We Challenged Global Brands To Acknowledge Women in Asia
While International Women’s Day received global fanfare, most global brands failed to act in Asia. Our own Julie Purser called them out, “Here in Asia, most of the messaging around International Women’s Day focused on shopping, retail therapy and getting a good deal.” She challenged global brand leaders, “The role of women in Asian society is changing. It may be slow but it is changing. Isn’t it time global brands caught up?”
We Unite to Recognize the Value Women Add to Our Socio-Economic System
To show solidarity with women of all backgrounds, our colleagues in San Francisco wore red to signify revolutionary love and sacrifice and the will to survive. They attended the “A Day Without a Woman” march which was organized to bring awareness to the economic power and significance that women have in global economies, while calling attention to the economic injustices women and gender nonconforming people continue to face.
How Prophet is Keeping the Conversation Alive and Driving Change
A global team of 30+ Propheteers from across the firm have come together and will tackle key gender diversity initiatives. We are laser focused on keeping the gender diversity and inclusion conversation alive and we’ll do so with semi-organized office-wide discussions and recommended media (like podcasts What are gender barriers made of?, Guilty Feminist and 2 Dope Queens; or books like What Works and Whistling Vivaldi). But we won’t stop there – we are developing workshops to help us all be more inclusive leaders, creating a female sponsorship program and dissecting our own flexible work and leave policy.
How are you personally or professionally celebrating, learning, championing women and gender diversity efforts? How can we help? We’d love to hear from you!