PwC South Africa has made the retention and career development of its high-performing women a key goal, with the launch of the A.W.A.R.E. programme.
Launched in May 2007, the programme, which stands for Attract. Women. Advance. Retain. Empower., is aimed at helping to retain the firm's female talent at all levels, and breaking the glass ceiling by strengthening the pipeline and pathway to leadership.
Gender Advisory Council member and PwC South Africa Assurance Partner Anita Stemmet, who leads the programme, says: "We are focusing on core priority areas which we believe will contribute towards the retention of our talent, especially our females. These areas include: flexibility and work-life balance; reasons why women leave and do not return; dealing with prejudice; and networking, coaching and mentoring".
As part of the programme, a dedicated team provides advice, guidance and support to women in the firm on a variety of programmes designed to support them in the workplace.
Women also have access to a database which contains useful information and toolkits, such as forms to help them make a business case for flexible working, information on upcoming women's events and much more.
August 2008 saw the joint PwC South Africa and Gender Advisory Council sponsorship of Working Mother Media's first conference in Johannesburg. The Global Advancement of Women event involved over 200 of South Africa's most powerful women uniting to network and engage, and featured a PwC-led mentoring workshop, featuring PwC partner Shirley Machaba, based on one of our most successful global initiatives.