Deloitte backs gender diversity with new female partners and return-to-work scheme

The promotion of 75 new partners marks the largest annual partnership intake in the firm’s history. It coincides with Deloitte’s campaign to “identify and retain high performing women,” which resulted in females winning almost a third of the posts.

It follows a report compiled by Lord Davies in March, which found that 23.5 per cent of FTSE 100 board positions are now secured by women. It was deemed a step in the right direction, albeit below the 25 per cent target that was set it 2011.

Former business secretary Vince Cable, who commissioned the report, predicted a third of women would sit on boards by 2020.

“It is positive that this year, a higher proportion of our new partners are women. 25 per cent of both the firm’s executive and board are female and we are committed to continuing to do more to create more opportunities in Deloitte for women at a senior level,” said David Sproul, chief executive and senior partner at Deloitte UK.

The company has also announced a return-to-work scheme to “attract more senior female leaders back into the workforce,” Sproul added. It will run as a 12-week paid internship between September to December for women that have been out of work for three to six years.

Only Deloitte alumni will have access to the programme in year one, and the aim is for 80 per cent of participants to stay on and take up longer roles upon course completion.

Emma Codd, managing partner for talent, said: “Gender diversity at leadership levels remains a challenge for many businesses but there is an ever-increasing understanding of the issues that hold women back in the workplace and the ways in which we can best tackle these.

“We have implemented a series of actions to increase the number of women we recruit, to ensure that development opportunities are clearly available and to provide a working environment that enables women to balance a successful career with family life.”

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Sproul concluded: “Today’s promotions represent a major investment in our services and in our people and demonstrates the confidence we have about the growth opportunities that lie ahead.

“This investment will help ensure Deloitte continues to make an impact that matters through supporting the growth and competitiveness of UK plc and building trust and confidence in the capital markets.”

Know any inspirational females? The First Women Awards is the UK’s premium awards programme focused on senior-level business women and professionals, which will take place on 11 June in London. The awards are hosted by the CBI and Real Business, and are held in association with Lloyds Banking Group.


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