Consulting CEOs pledge to increase women in leadership ranks

08 April 2021 2 min. read
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A number of consulting firms have joined Catalyst’s “CEO Champions for Change” initiative, which aims to boost representation of women, particularly women of color, in corporate senior leadership positions and boards.

According to Catalyst, a global nonprofit focused on building more inclusive workplaces for women, only 6% of CEOs in the S&P 500 are women. Furthermore, only 26% of S&P 500 board seats are held by women. Representation figures are even lower for women of color.

Catalyst’s new CEO Champions for Change initiative has signed on more than 70 high-profile CEOs, who head many of the world’s largest companies. The chief executives have together pledged to strengthen their diversity and inclusion policies, practices, and metrics; improve their advancement pipeline for women; and reduce structural barriers and unconscious bias.

At an organizational level, the CEOs have committed to accelerate representation for women, particularly women of color, at the senior, executive, and board levels. They will also conduct an annual review of internal diagnostics to strengthen the talent pipeline, as well as track, benchmark, and report inclusion metrics. The Catalyst CEOs have also made a personal pledge to actively sponsor women, role model positive change, drive an inclusive culture, and hold themselves and leadership accountable for progress.

Consulting CEOs pledge to increase women in leadership ranks

"Our Catalyst CEO Champions For Change companies represent more than 10 million employees and over $3 trillion dollars in revenue globally. The positive ripple effect from their commitment is tremendous in helping to build workplaces where everyone has a fair chance to succeed," said Lorraine Hariton, president and CEO of Catalyst.

Among the 70+ CEOs joining the initiative are eight executives from leading consulting firms:

  • Rich Lesser, CEO, BCG
  • Janet Foutty, executive chair of the board, Deloitte
  • Kelly Grier, US chairman and managing partner and Americas managing partner, EY
  • NV "Tiger" Tyagarajan, president & CEO, Genpact
  • Steve Demetriou, chair & CEO, Jacobs (also the parent company of PA Consulting)
  • Paul Knopp, US chair & CEO, KPMG
  • Joseph Tarantino, CEO, Protiviti
  • Tim Ryan, US chairman & senior partner, PwC

Catalyst’s initiative also has an “Honorary Champions” group composed of retired and former CEOs. The group includes:

  • Mark Weinberger, former global chairman & CEO, EY
  • Lynne Doughtie, former US chairman & CEO, KPMG LLP
  • John B. Veihmeyer, retired global chairman, KPMG International