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How can we attract and retain more women in professional firms? The realities of being a woman in professional services and driving change from within

In a past life I worked in a global consulting firm and I think that if you’ve never worked in professional services it can be hard to visualise some of the obstacles women face in forging professional careers.  At the time there were no female partners I could turn to for advice. The firm was run by men who shortlisted team members for new projects at Friday drinks at the local pub, with the night often ending with partners snogging their PAs (not everyone was invited but the brave and the stupid regularly turned up up for the drinking competitions in the hope of winning a spot on the big accounts).  Their past times included racing Porsches on the weekends and entertaining clients at sporting fixtures.  Team building endeavors included canyoning, skirmish, go carting… get the picture?

As a young single women this was all just fine with me, it was fun and I loved it.  The work was fantastic and my friends were my colleagues.  But combining a family with the firm’s culture and working practices would have been impossible.  Perhaps that’s why these days women still only comprise 12.5% of partners in our top accounting firms and 19.5% of partners in law firms.  But with women graduating in greater numbers than men in business, commerce, economics and law, it’s time we found some solutions to the issues women face in firms.  Which is why I’ve agreed to chair an important event in January on Executing Women’s Initiatives Within Firms.

Throughout this one-day connected forum, the following critical issues and more will be explored:

  • Building a strategic network for an effective and successful career in firms
  • Identifying and breaking through the myths surrounding women in firms
  • Making positive changes within firms for dynamic career paths for female employees
  • Creating inspiring role models that all women within firms can aspire to for the success of their careers
  • Utilising online networks and tools for the advancement of womenís careers within firms

All sphinxx supporters are invited to register at the special members rate, a saving of $250.  Join before 17th Dec and you will also receive a bonus research report to help you in implementing a successful women’s forum in your own firm.

A fantastic panel of expert speakers has been confirmed from:

  • Blake Dawson
  • Diversity Council of Australia
  • Allens Arthur Robinson
  • Deloitte
  • Norton Rose Australia
  • Middletons
  • Hickson Lawyers
  • Moore Stephens Accountants
  • Johnson, Winter & Slattery
  • Kemp Strang Legal
  • and of course sphinxx

As this event is supported by the Diversity Council of Australia you can be sure you’ll be in for a quality experience with plenty of takeaways to help you improve the status of women in your professional firm.

sphinxx also has one complimentary registration to the event to give away – simply post a comment here telling us what you think the biggest challenge is for women in firms today – the best blog post received before 13th December will win the registration valued at $995.  Don’t forget to include your email address so I can contact you (it won’t be published on the site and your privacy is assured – however I can’t contact you if I don’t have your details).

And for those of you unable to attend the conference – don’t let that stop you from sharing your stories – I’d love to hear your case studies so I can share them at the event, so please do post your comments here.


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