The 30% Club continues to drive cross sector efforts to improve the female pipeline

22 professional service firms collaborate to develop practical tools to increase female representation in partnerships

In a unique collaboration between 22 law, accountancy and consultancy firms, the 30% Club today launched the next stage of its initiative to improve gender diversity and enhance the path to promotion within professional services firms. This initiative was kicked off in 2012 with a piece of research into gender balance, supported by McKinsey & Company, which identified that men were ten times more likely than women to progress to partner in law firms and three times more likely than women in consultancy and accountancy firms. Since 2013 the participating member firms, which increased from 17 to 22 organisations in number, have continued to work together to translate the findings and recommendations from the study into practical actions.

Today’s Leadership Forum, entitled ‘Continuing to shift the needle’, was held at Bloomberg LP European Headquarters in London, and focused upon three significant core topics: the importance of sponsorship for women, approaches to work allocation which ensure optimal opportunities with clients and transactions, and ways of thinking about agile working which are consistent with the path to partnership and client service. The Leadership Forum shared the group’s findings on these specific topics with partners and senior leaders from across the participating firms and offered a series of practical tools and insights designed to support continued momentum in relation to gender diversity within firms individually and across the sector.

Helena Morrissey CBE, CEO of Newton, Chairman of IMA and Founder of the 30% Club said: “Shifting the Needle is a hugely important initiative, based on several years of collective, cross-sector working across professional service firms. The recommendations we make today are concrete actions for business leaders who want to continue to challenge the gender imbalance when it comes to promotion. With this kind of continued, collective engagement we are confident that progress – and the rate of progress – will continue to accelerate in the coming years”

Caroline Carr, Managing Director, Goldman Sachs and 30% Club Steering Committee member said: “It has been terrific to see the ongoing collaboration and commitment of the professional services firms to collective action in relation to female representation at partnership level. Many professional service firms have leveraged the 2012 McKinsey & Company research to help further support their organisation’s efforts and today’s focus on three important practical topics, sponsorship, work allocation and agile working, we believe will help maintain the increasing momentum across the sector.” We are also delighted that McKinsey has agreed to continue the support for the 30% Club Professional Services Firms’ Initiative through a further study of female representation in 2015 in order to measure how far the needle has shifted since 2012.”


For further information, please contact:

Gay Collins, MHP Communications +44 20 3128 8582/07798626282
Toto Reissland-Burghart, MHP Communications + 44 203 128 8100