At a work social event earlier this summer, two of my colleagues and I were presented with a unique challenge: Figure out what we need to do to double the number of women working for ImagineX Consulting by the end of 2020, and lay the groundwork for gender parity as the company continues to grow.

 

Why?

 

Multiple studies have shown that companies with diverse leadership tend to be the most profitable. The 2018 Women In The Workplace report by McKinsey & Company shares some sobering information.

 

Women are doing their part. They’ve been earning more bachelor’s degrees than men for decades. They’re asking for promotions and negotiating salaries at the same rates as men. And contrary to conventional wisdom, they are staying in the workforce at the same rate as men.

 

BUT

 

From the outset, fewer women than men are hired at the entry level. And at every subsequent step, the representation of women further declines. Women of color are the most underrepresented group of all—behind white men, men of color, and white women.

Womenintheworkplace.com

 

McKinsey & Company offer a number of recommendations in their report, but the number one takeaway to solve this problem?

 

 

Companies need to treat gender diversity like the business priority it is.

Womenintheworkplace.com

 

This is exactly what ImagineX Consulting is doing. This week, all the women in the company are meeting for two days of strategy and planning as part of the ImagineX Consulting’s Women’s Summit to set the foundation for how we will recruit, retain, and promote qualified women.

 

It’s exciting to be a part of this initiative. And it’s exciting to see ImagineX’s commitment to it. A professional services company makes its money by billable hours. Taking people off of client work for two days is a big deal and it shows that we are serious about this priority. Similarly, we as participants are committed to making this initiative successful- We’ve planned it on top of our client and other company obligations. We’re giving up time with our friends and families to make this happen. We know we’ll still have to do some client work on top of the hours we spend in the Summit. But it is important to us all that we build a stronger network internally, so we’re making it happen.

 

After the Summit, I’ll share the experience, and what we’re doing to make sure we measure our success. I hope you’ll follow us on this journey.

Ashley Williams

Author Ashley Williams

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