Specifically, its sponsorship initiative connects female future leaders and strong contributors with senior sponsors within the firm. Under its 2020 vision for sponsorship, A.T. Kearney plans to broaden the programme to include more employees that would benefit from the scheme. Sehgal explains: “This initiative allows the company to reach out to our female employees to ensure that they have the support they need to be successful. The sponsors helps these women think through their career paths and serve as advocates for their interests, supporting their advancement and development within the firm. This programme has no overlap with any other role, it is a relationship based on trust.” The company has found that workers involved in the sponsorship programme have higher advancement and retention rates and, according to Sehgal, 40 per cent of the women partners at A.T. Kearney are now in leadership roles. Building on this success, the organisation recently launched Encore, an initiative aimed at helping talented, experienced women professionals re-enter the workforce after an extended career break. “The is the first programme of its kind in the strategy consulting industry,” Sehgal says. “Encore identifies experiences women professionals and helps to facilitate and fast track their career development.” Over the next few years, all of this effort will help to incite change and ensure that A.T. Kearney’s D&I goals are in alignment with its operational direction. “Even with decisive leadership and the right programmes, meaningful change will only come if we shift day-to-day behaviours across the firm and across the industry,” Sehgal explains. “It’s about considering those actions, big and small, that each of us take every day that nurture inclusiveness and equality—or thwart it. It’s an all-fronts battle that we need to keep at the top of the agenda and be mindful of in all that we do.” In addition to giving employees a platform to come together to discuss, innovate, and co-create with the organisation, ultimately, the internal programmes are there to foster life-long learning as well as professional and personal fulfilment that will lead to long term success. Sehgal concludes: “We continuously strive to create an environment where everyone feels comfortable, does not encounter prejudice or discrimination and receives equal opportunities to contribute, develop, and succeed irrespective of race, sexual orientation, or gender identity and expression. It is how we add value to our clients, our people and our organisation as a whole.” THE POLL IS NOW CLOSED – RESULTS WILL BE REVEALED AT THE FIRST WOMEN AWARDS ON 22 JUNE.
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