Accenture developed and implemented the Great Place to Work for Women initiative in 1994 to create a culture in which women employees around the world can achieve their individual career aspirations. Initially developed and implemented in the United States, the program was expanded globally in 1999.
Accenture uses a variety of innovative processes, such as geographic scorecards, global surveys, and performance appraisals, to ensure that company leadership remains accountable for the success of the initiative and the ability of the initiative to be replicated globally. Employees also have access to career counselors, mentoring programs for women, and affinity networks—networking groups with shared interests. Although the Great Place to Work for Women initiative is managed globally, local offices focus on the issues most relevant to them. In addition, in a unique approach for a professional services company, Accenture has developed initiatives to help employees balance their work and personal lives, in essence making flexibility an integral part of doing business.
Together, these efforts have resulted in increased success for women at Accenture. The percentage of women “partners,” or senior-level executives, has increased globally from 5.8 percent in 1994 to 10.0 percent of all partners in 2002. In 2002, women comprised 14.1 percent of all promotions to partner globally and 19.0 percent of all promotions to partner in the United States. Women currently comprise 17 percent of Accenture’s Management Committee, the company’s senior leadership group.