Accenture is deeply committed to creating an environment that provides equal opportunities to its people. It makes conscious efforts to keep women encouraged, supported and nurtured, so that they grow and evolve in their professional lives while balancing their personal goals.
Broadly speaking, its initiatives can be divided into three categories, one to support women along their maternal journey, two to provide resources for career development, and three to cultivate effective leaders.
Motherhood is one of the most important stages in a woman’s life, and its effects can be far reaching. With child care becoming a focal point for a new mother, support from every end, especially from a nurturing and conducive work environment becomes crucial.
Accenture has comprehensive and well-rounded programs such as Maternity Leave Policy which includes 22 weeks of leave extendable by another 12 weeks of unpaid leave. It also addresses both mothers who have children born out of surrogacy, or who have taken the path of adoption, and treats them on par. Making the integration of new mothers back into the workforce easier, the Returning Mothers Program provides guidance to new mothers, from women executives who have successfully transitioned back to work from maternity leave.
Accenture takes a multi-pronged approach to maintain gender diversity and increase women leaders in its ranks. Gender sensitivity training is also provided to first-line supervisors and managers by “understanding the unconscious bias”. Male leaders are encouraged to become advocates of gender diversity by leveraging their leadership capital and creating pathways for greater awareness within their teams.
Programs are designed to enable women employees to remain intentional about their career goals. This is done through a series of eight learning modules, called Intentionality of Careers, addressing a focused investment towards career goals while navigating changes in life. Career development resources are made available especially for transforming women technologists into technical architects and imparting training to women employees to proactively drive success.
There are a number of leadership development programs targeted at helping women become successful business leaders. Networking and mentoring form an integral and essential part of these, and Vaahini a platform for women employees to network with both internal and external professionals is a key element of this. The program won “the “Employee Network Excellence Award” by Biz Divas in 2016 for bolstering the Diversity agenda for Accenture. High ranking senior professionals are assigned as sponsors to managers with great potential to help grow into leadership roles within Accenture.
Accenture drives these initiatives as it believes that gender diversity, inclusion and an equal opportunity workplace makes great business sense in the long run. Only those organizations thrive that are dedicated towards this goal.