Closing the Gender Gap:

Fast-track female talent for success

gender parity
Company name:
Deloitte & Touche
Professional Services
Sub-saharan Africa
South Africa
Contact Position:
Associate National Transformation
Contact company representative

The Gap:

Type of Gap: senior management level

Whilst the firm has set robust targets for female representation at director and partner level, retention of females at senior management level in the pipeline to partner/director remains a challenge. The number of women has been growing much slower than expected.

The Practice:

Type of practice: Mentorship & training

The Transformation Board, constituted by the CEO, COO, Head of GHR&D, Head of Transformation and the Executive Committee, has set targets for female representation at partner and director level in its 'Transformation 2012' strategy - a strategy focussing on current gaps in gender representation at partner/director and leadership level. The Board meets on a quartely basis, to monitor and discuss the progress made towards these targets.

Female talent identified in the pipeline is given a senior mentor to support them in their work environment, who makes sure they are exposed to meaningful assignments that will grow and prepare them for the next level. A robust, individual development plan is crafted and monitored very closely by the senior mentor in collaboration with their mentee.


We measured the success of this intervention by tracking the retention of female leaders and senior manager in the partnership pipeline in the firm.

We also tracked 16 dimensions in our people survey results, to verify how family has scored, including career path, working differently and more.

Implementation Date:

Ongoing, we will revisit the strategy in 2012.

The Success:

We found that females are now more satisfied with their working environment and had better awareness of development and growth opportunities. They are also more comfortable with the fact that they can work flexible hours and spend quality time with their families.

Success factors:

  1. Successful retention of females in the last 2 years
  2. Focused and robust mentoring and career planning programme
  3. Buy in from the top


  1. Mind set change from some leaders who did not see the strategic imperative of this initiative
  2. Scepticism from some females who did not trust the system


Career Development|Coaching / Mentoring|Monitoring|Individual Support|Talent Management|Targets
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