Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Tuesday, Nov 09, 2004
How Deloitte tackled attrition among women
Hyderabad , Nov. 8
WHILE coping with mergers and a not-so-encouraging economy 16 years ago, Deloitte was faced with a problem: huge attrition rates among women, which threatened to pose a serious challenge.
In a presentation on Deloitte's `Initiative for the Retention and Advancement of Women' at the Indian School of Business (ISB) on Monday, Ms Tracey Edwards, Managing Principal (Region 10 of Deloitte) showcased her company's 16-year-old journey to make women stay back.
The programme on `Promoting change: Creating women leaders' was jointly organised by Deloitte and ISB.
Though not a unique problem, the then Chairman of Deloitte, Mr J. Michael Cook, took it up as a challenge because high-potential women started leaving the global consulting leader in big numbers.
A challenge, he thought, worth facing head on. "The company had set up a task force to study the problem," Ms Edwards said.
After reviewing the nuts and bolts of the problem, the task force broadly outlined three issues that resulted in the drain of women power from the company.
A male-dominated environment that perpetuated stereotyped assumptions about women; perceived obstacles to career advancement; and the need to handle multiple tasks by both men and women were the three major findings of the study.
The company woke up to the fact there was discrimination - direct and indirect.
It, then, set off for a "journey of enlightenment", creating goals that were tangible and intangible.
An action plan was prepared to get rid of the obstacles. It was not a one-time or a piecemeal approach. The situation was being evaluated and results published over period of time.
Ms Tracey also said that it was not easy task convincing men. While men promoted themselves, people used to raise eyebrows when women tried to do the same.
Sixteen years later, attrition rate among women is as much as among men. The company has won several awards for becoming a better place for women.
Ms Suchitra Ella, Founder Director of Bharat Biotech, spoke on her own experience in building up an enterprise.
Stories in this Section
The Hindu Group: Home | About Us | Copyright | Archives | Contacts | Subscription
Group Sites: The Hindu | Business Line | Sportstar | Frontline | The Hindu eBooks | The Hindu Images | Home |
Copyright © 2004, The
Hindu Business Line. Republication or redissemination of the contents of
this screen are expressly prohibited without the written consent of
The Hindu Business Line