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Deloitte committed to increased female ownership and representation across the Africa member firm

The leading professional services firm has achieved 34% female ownership and 54% female representation

As South Africa commemorates National Women’s Month under the banner of Generation Equality, Deloitte is ensuring that gender equality and representation within the firm is being prioritised.

“We are extremely pleased with our progress but we also understand that this journey requires a continued commitment and focus,” says Justine Mazzocco, People and Purpose Leader, Deloitte Africa. “Deloitte has adopted progressive talent programmes so that we create a culture where everyone has equal opportunity to grow, develop, succeed and be their authentic selves.” As at 1 June 2020, the firm had achieved 54% female representation and 34% female ownership.  Says Mazzocco, “We will continue to prioritise initiatives that promote equality and provide opportunities for all. We are embedding modernised and flexible ways of working so that our people, and especially women, can find a balance between family life and work demands.” 

Deloitte research has shown that organisations need to create a conducive environment for women to achieve their career goals. In its 2019 State of inclusion report, the firm advises organisations to reduce bias in recruitment and development processes, and roll out mentorship and sponsorship initiatives to support women. Deloitte also believes that increased flexibility for working parents returning from parental leave, and programmes that smoothly transition those re-entering the workforce from a career gap help to retain and advance more women in the workplace.

Among some of the gender equality programmes that Deloitte has implemented is its sponsorship “Wave” campaign, whereby Deloitte leaders across the world are challenged to personally sponsor at least one woman into leadership. The key goal of this strategic initiative is to bring a more sustainable pipeline of talented women forward through increased sponsorship and succession management.

A detailed gender-pay gap exercise was also undertaken among partners/directors, and while the exercise revealed some pay-parity discrepancies, these were not significant. Having quantified the pay gaps and unpacked the reasons for these, key initiatives were immediately introduced by the executive committee, which largely reduced the pay gaps at the various levels.

“We seek to leverage our differences as a strength that makes our organisationbetter.  Our initiatives include focusing on creating an environment that enables women to achieve their ambitions and that embraces generational diversity,” says Mazzocco.