Women: Want to Lead Be Resilient, Reports Accenture

In celebration of International Women’s Day todayhonoring the economic, political and social achievements of women globallyAccenture has released a critical leadership report, “Women Leaders and Resilience: Perspectives from the C-Suite.” Accenture surveyed 524 senior-level executives, including CEOs, COOs and CFOs, from companies with annual revenues in excess of $250 million in North America, Latin America, Europe and Asia Pacific. The goal: to determine the value global corporate decision makers place on resilience as a leadership trait and how they’re preparing women for senior positions.


Here’s what Accenture, No. 23 in The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity, found in its new research.

*Resilience is key to retention: 71 percent of the corporate leaders say resilience, defined as “the ability to overcome challenges and turn them into opportunities,” is very to extremely important when deciding who to retain at a company.

*Women are slightly more resilient than men: 53 percent of the executive respondents report women as very to extremely resilient, while 51 percent feel men are very to extremely resilient.

“Resiliencethe combination of adaptability, flexibility and strength of purposemay be the new criterion for professional advancement,” says Accenture’s Chief Leadership Officer Adrian Lajtha.”In the current world of economic uncertainty and intense competitiveness, organizations that instill resilience in their up-and-coming leadership will have a clear advantage.”

*Career-enhancing assignments are prolific: More than half of the survey takers (60 percent) say they are providing women with leadership opportunities; 40 percent are preparing them for senior management.

*Talent-development initiatives continue: Despite the recession, nearly one-half of respondents (48 percent) report making no changes in the last year to their women’s leadership initiatives, including coaching and mentoring programs. Meanwhile, 18 percent say they’ve made moderate to extensive increases, 22 percent report augmenting their mentoring initiatives and 17 percent have enhanced their leadership programs for Blacks, Latinos and other underrepresented groups.

How are these global companies fostering women’s career development specifically

  • 48 percent provide internal mentors versus nearly all of the 2009 DiversityInc Top 50
  • 46 percent offer work/lifebalance programs, compared with more than 90 percent of the 2009 DiversityInc Top 50
  • 37 percent provide external coaches
  • 24 percent assign an advocate to women early in their careers

“Leading organizations will provide high-performing women with a variety of experiences, including training, mentoring and ‘stretch’ roles, to increase their resilience and confidence to prepare them to succeed in senior leadership positions,” says Nellie Borrero, Accenture’s managing director of global inclusion and diversity.

Other key findings from the report:

  • Generation Y women (those born after 1979) are seen as the most flexible in the workplace
  • North American, European and Asian Pacific executives attribute teamwork more frequently to women than they do to men (22 percent women vs. 7 percent men, 27 percent women vs. 13 percent men and 27 percent women vs. 15 percent men, respectively)
  • While executives in North America, Europe and Asia Pacific are on average more likely to link a confident demeanor to men (35 percent) than women (8 percent), Latin American executives assign confidence more to women (38 percent) than men (14percent)

For the full Accenture report, click here.

Latest News

women in politics

Women Remain Vastly Underrepresented in Local Government, Despite Conventional Wisdom Suggesting Otherwise

Vice President Kamala Harris and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi sat behind President Biden during his first speech to a joint session of Congress on April 28 — representing the first time two women held such important and high-ranking political offices. Even after such a historic moment, the reality…

voter restriction

Florida Follows Georgia’s Lead, Approves Racist Anti-Voter Restrictions Aimed Primarily at Democrats and People of Color

Not content with letting Georgia be the only state in the South demonized for its bigoted and racist attacks on voter rights, Florida has jumped into the fray in issuing its own series of new and highly controversial “Jim Crow-esque” anti-voting restrictions aimed specifically at disenfranchising Democrats and voters of…

Kentucky Derby

Inspired by Protests Over Breonna Taylor’s Death, Humana and Kentucky Derby Festival Launch Diversity and Inclusion Initiative in Louisville

Ahead of the 147th Kentucky Derby on Saturday, May 1, Kentucky Derby officials and Humana (No. 25 on The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list in 2020) have announced a new equity initiative meant to make the race more accessible and welcoming to everyone, regardless of race, gender, age…

crimes against human ity

‘Crime Against Humanity’; Global Report Says the US Should Be Prosecuted in International Criminal Court for Ongoing Police Murders of Black Americans

In what has been described as a “devastating” report, human rights experts and lawyers have investigated and released a 188-page analysis of the ongoing police brutality and killing of Black Americans in the U.S. Their verdict: the country is guilty of “crimes against humanity” and should be prosecuted for its…

Tokyo, Olympics

Tokyo Olympics to Encourage Significant Increase in Gender Equality Among Event’s Corporate Sponsors

Besides simply being a showcase for some of the most talented and athletic men and women on the planet, the organizers of the Tokyo Olympics are hoping their event this summer can also help promote significant change in corporate culture, both in Japan and around the globe. Bloomberg’s Ayai Tomisawa…

AbbVie Joins Over 400 Leading US Employers in the Human Rights Campaign’s ‘Business Coalition for the Equality Act’

Originally published on LinkedIn. AbbVie ranked No. 19 on The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list in 2020.   AbbVie has joined a group of over 400 corporations and leading U.S. employers to support the Human Rights Campaign’s “Business Coalition for the Equality Act,” an initiative advocating for federal…

Accenture and Goodwill Develop Virtual Experience To Help People Impacted by the Criminal Justice System Enter the Workforce

Originally published at prnewswire.com. Accenture is ranked No. 5 on The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list in 2020.   Goodwill Industries International has teamed with Accenture to develop an innovative virtual experience called Project Overcome. The experience is designed for people impacted by the criminal justice system who want to…