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How to hold onto talent in the ‘pinched middle.’

Published Mar 2017

It’s a well-known fact that management consulting firms are all struggling with retaining women and promoting them to the highest ranks. Diversity at the top remains elusive, with the vast majority of firms only managing a small proportion of female partners at best. A common dropout point is what we’re terming the ‘pinched middle’. These are women at manager and senior manager grade—in their late 20s and early 30s—who, just as they’re expected to be at full-throttle with their career, are also becoming busier at home too.

This report, therefore, is focused on the practical steps consulting firms can take today to help women through this tricky stage of their career and life. 

We propose a ten-point framework for change: We’re not recommending a tweak here, or some fine-tuning there—we’re recommending an overhaul of how senior managers are assessed, what behaviours firms reward, and a broadening of what being a senior manager at a consulting firm can look like.