BOX 5-7

Deloitte and Touche: Leadership in Industry Case Studya

A corporate example shows how it is possible to bring together a number of such change processes with fairly dramatic effects on the number of women in leadership positions. Deloitte and Touche USA, LLP, has recognized that formal flexible work arrangements are not sufficient to bring about that result. They have instituted a process of “mass career customization” whereby employees have a series of choices about position and responsibilities, rate of career progress, location and schedule, and workload, which may shift during the career. It increased the number of women partners from 3 in 1982 to 116 in 2005—the highest percentage of women partners in the four biggest professional services firms. It also keeps in touch with people who have stopped out temporarily to raise children, paying their professional fees to make it easier for them to come back.

Lessons from the Deloitte and Touche Women’s Initiative:

  • Make sure that senior management is “front and center.”

  • Make an airtight case for cultural change.

  • Let the world watch you.

  • Begin with discussion as the platform for change.

  • Implement a system of accountability.

  • Promote work-life balance for men and women.


aDM McCracken (2000). Winning the talent war for women. Harvard Business Review Nov/Dec (Reprint R00611); Deloitte and Touche (2005). Why Flexible Work Arrangements Are not the Answer: The Case for Career Customization (internal document).

Identifying Barriers to Success in Science and Engineering

Universities across the country have begun to conduct studies of the institutional “climate” for women and minority-group scientists and engineers.75 Among the issues addressed by the climate studies are whether there is fair representation of women and minorities at various levels of academe; whether space, research support, and salaries are fairly allocated; and whether university policies reflect an understanding of the challenges faced by scientists and engineers in underrepresented groups.76 A data-


The National Academies Committee on Women in Science and Engineering. Gender Faculty Studies at Research I Institutions, http://www7.nationalacademies.org/cwse/gender_faculty_links.html.


American Psychological Association (2000). Women in Academe: Two Steps Forward, One Step Back, http://www.apa.org/pi/wpo/academe/report.html; Women in Science and Engineering Leadership Institute, University of Wisconsin-Madison. Advice to the Top: Top 10

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