Life at Deloitte

International Women’s Day 2015

Sustained Personal and Professional Excellence: Promise or Pipe-dream?

International Women’s Day (IWD) is a day dedicated by the UN to celebrate women; IWD is celebrated on March 8 in the US since 1909 and internationally since 1911. In 2009, Deloitte introduced our own global approach to celebrate IWD with employees and clients consisting of a global webcast, toolkit, website, and communications prior and post the event. Participation has grown to 1000 people (live and on-demand) from 42 countries and member firms are incorporating the webcast into local events. In 2015, Deloitte hosted its seventh IWD webcast which was also our second live event.

More women earn degrees than men in many countries and yet few women currently rise to the top of major companies. In 2014, women on Boards averaged 20.7% in the UK; 16.9% in the US; 12.3% in Australia; 12.1% in Canada and 8.1% in China (Catalyst Knowledge Centre, 2014). Only a small percentage of global companies had female CEOs in 2014.

What is happening to the rising stars on their way to the top? Why are so few women appointed to senior executive positions? Why do so many choose not to aim for the top? What can individuals and organizations do to change this?

We have heard a great deal in the last few years about sustainability: a sustainable resource is one which endures over time; sustainability is a characteristic of a system which is resilient and is able to “keep going” without burning itself out. In this IWD, we discuss the concept of “personal sustainability”; the ability to thrive in multiple areas of our lives and to sustain personal and professional success.

On Tuesday, 10 March, 2015, Deloitte hosted a webcast in celebration of International Women's Day. Our guests shared their personal journeys of getting to and staying at the top and their insights into what worked best in their lives and organizations around sustaining excellence. They also engaged in answering questions on related topics.

A recording of the 2015 International Women’s Day webcast is below.

Webcast Guest Leaders:

  • Punit Renjen, DTTL CEO-Elect
  • Cathy Engelbert, US CEO-Elect
  • Katty Kay, Author, Lead Anchor, BBC World News America

Webcast host: Vanessa Borchers, Global Diversity and Inclusion Leader

Download the IWD press release

In recognition of International Women’s Day, Deloitte surveyed more than 1,700 respondents to gain insights into the progress being made to improve gender equality in the workplace. Read more here.


The International Women’s Day 2015 guest speakers and host

Guest Speaker : Punit Renjen
CEO-Elect of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited

Punit most recently served as Chairman of the Board of Deloitte LLP and Chairman and CEO of Deloitte Consulting LLP. He has 27 years of experience with Deloitte and has helped clients in various industries address a range of issues, including merger integration and operations improvement. Punit is a member of the U.S.-India Business Council’s Board of Directors and was named an honoree to the 2012 and 2013 National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) “Directorship 100” and a “Top 25 Consultant” by Consulting magazine in 2007.

He speaks regularly with top-tier media, premier conferences and business schools and often comments on research regarding the attributes of exceptional organizations, the importance of a well-articulated and lived workplace “culture of purpose” and a high-functioning board.

Guest Speaker: Cathy Engelbert
CEO-Elect of Deloitte U.S.

Cathy Engelbert is CEO-elect of Deloitte LLP, assuming the role of CEO on March 11, 2015. Cathy will be responsible for more than 65,000 professionals in nearly 90 US cities and India, serving three-quarters of the Fortune 500. Since joining Deloitte in 1986, Cathy has served several of the organization’s largest and most complex global clients. She currently serves as chairman and chief executive officer of Deloitte & Touche LLP, the U.S. accounting, auditing and risk advisory subsidiary of Deloitte LLP, leading the Audit practice. Cathy is a member of the Financial Accounting Standards Advisory Council; a past recipient of the YWCA's Tribute to Women in Industry Award, and is listed among the Women’s Fund of New Jersey’s “25 Most Influential Women in Finance”. Cathy received a BS in accounting from Lehigh University and is a certified public accountant licensed in Pennsylvania, New York, and New Jersey. She is a member of the Accounting Advisory Board for Lehigh University.

Guest Speaker: Katty Kay
Author; journalist and Lead Anchor,
BBC World News America

Katty Kay is the lead anchor for BBC World News America. She is seen in America on nearly 300 Public Broadcasting Stations which carry BBC World News America broadcasts. Katty’s reports on the latest U.S. economic and political news are also carried by BBC News channels globally. Katty is also a frequent guest commentator on NBC’s Meet the Press as well as a regular guest and substitute co-host on MSNBC’s Morning Joe. She is co-author (with Claire Shipman) of two New York Times bestsellers. Her latest, The Confidence Code: The Science and Art of Self-Assurance---What Women Should Know, inspires women to understand that confidence is a choice. She shows ways to break out of comfort zones and take risks that pay off. In her first book, Womenomics: Write Your Own Rules for Success, she examined the workplace revolution and inspired women to take control, dream big and discover a different way of weaving work into their lives.

Host: Vanessa Borchers
Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited
Global Leader, Diversity and Inclusion

Vanessa Borchers is the DTTL Global Diversity and Inclusion Leader.

She has 23 years’ experience with Deloitte in the United States, the Netherlands and South Africa. During this time, she has served large multinationals in various industries and capacities, including as a global lead client service partner.

Vanessa qualified as a chartered accountant in South Africa and has an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. 

IWD Twitter Chat

Immediately after the webcast, Linda Human, Global Diversity and Inclusion Director, hosted a Twitter Chat. Followers participated in the interactive Q&A discussion, and participants shared their thoughts on the topic of gender diversity and inclusion and asked Linda questions. 

Some of the topics discussed were:

  • Why are we still seeing a lack of female leaders today?
  • How important is inclusion when speaking about #gender diversity?
  • Should #gender diversity be a C-Suite issue?
  • Are women well represented in leadership positions in your org?
  • What more can organizations do to retain and engage women who are in, or aspiring to, leadership positions?
  • It is possible for women to “have it all”?
  • How can I get men more involved in the gender diversity discussion?
  • What steps have been taken to improve gender diversity in your organization?
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