Gender & Inclusion

Our journey to undisputed leadership in women’s advancement

All Deloitte Africa partners and professionals attend internal workshops called Respect and Inclusion, a Deloitte global undertaking which aims to create an environment in which everyone respects all of their colleagues for their own strengths while celebrating individuals’ differences. In 2019 the Respect and Inclusion workshops, which is an Africa-wide initiative, were centred around the important issue of unconscious bias and the behaviours that can undermine individuals, without the protagonists always being aware of their sometimes negative impact. Across the Deloitte Africa firm, a major focus was on gender relationships and how subtle behavioural signals can detract from an inclusive culture.

The Deloitte Africa Respect and Inclusion initiative was just one of the undertakings which shows how serious we are about creating a gender-neutral environment. Other gender milestones in the Deloitte Africa member firm include:

• Deloitte Africa continues to be one of few organisations in South Africa with a specific board position allocated to the advancement of women.

• The Africa board has 32% female representation with various key board committees being chaired by female board members. These include the remuneration, finance/audit and partner/ director admissions committees.

•Women are also well represented on the Deloitte Africa executive committee with two of the five managing partners/ directors of service lines being women.

• The firm continued to make solid progress towards achieving its female ownership target across the continent; at the beginning of the 2020 financial year this stood at 31%. (Certain regions and service lines already boast female ownership in excess of 38%).

• Deloitte Africa developed a Female Sponsorship Programme, the key goal of which is to connect our top leaders (male and female sponsors) and our top female talent with a view to assisting these protégées to “stay the course” in the firm and develop them into the partnership.

Also recently, under the stewardship of Deloitte’s Global Chair, Sharon Thorne, Deloitte globally launched the ALL IN Sponsorship “Wave” campaign, whereby Deloitte leaders across the world were 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.

A compelling brochure on work/life integration was published by Deloitte Women in Leadership (DWIL Africa) and distributed to talent across the Africa firm. Many female partners and directors shared tips on how they achieved integration in their lives. DWIL Africa also focused on the representation of females among the group of lead client service partners/directors who serve Deloitte’s biggest clients. Deloitte Africa generally compares very well to other member firms in the network on women’s advancement and representation in senior leadership roles:

>30% : female representation on Africa board

>30% : female partners in Africa

>30% : female equity ownership

>50% : female representation

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