Global initiatives: France – Developing a more diversified pool of leaders
By identifying and exposing high potential female partners to significant challenges both with clients and internally, PwC France has developed a larger and more diversified pool of leaders ready to take on management roles. Since January 1, 2009, women represent 30% of management teams (territory leadership team and lines of services executive committees) compared to 5% in 2008.
The firm's ‘Women in PwC’ programme, launched in 2003 at a global level, includes the following initiatives:
- Women's Survival Course: created in 2007, this leadership course has been such a success that it is now being organised by several other European firms. Aimed at helping women gain an appetite for leadership and develop the necessary skills, the course has played a key role in convincing high potential women that they can pursue a career at PwC and become a partner without giving up their private life. This has in turn had a positive impact on the firm’s female retention rate.
- Temps de Femmes: launched in 2006, this annual event for the firm’s top female clients is held around an art exhibition. The latest event, held in 2009, attracted some 370 participants. The initiative has helped to bring gender diversity to the forefront, with male partners increasingly seeing the benefits of focusing on the issue.
- Cercles au féminin: discussion forums for – and run by – women. Led by a female partner, these network circles are comprised of senior managers who meet quarterly to discuss topical issues.
- Parents chez PwC: launched in 2009, this exchange and mentoring programme is aimed at helping people achieve a good work-life balance. Women are given the opportunity to attend a HR meeting to discuss their new role as a mother and their job expectations before and after their maternity leave. They are also offered support and advice from a female partner during their pregnancy.
- SOS garde d’enfants: targeted at male and female staff, this programme provides emergency childcare when a child or its carer is ill.