Client: Large Professional Services Firm

The Context

One of the largest professional services firms in the world had a definite concern: Women within the organization were leaving at a rate of 40% each year in some areas of the organization, greatly diminishing the pipeline of future partner talent. We played a key role in helping this organization increase its retention of talented women leaders at the senior manager level.

Our Approach

After interviewing incumbents and understanding the attrition experience, we designed a highly successful development and retention program.

The eleven-month program, which focused on 24 high-talent women selected each year, included:

  • A thorough leadership assessment which included 360 interviews
  • Multiple skills clinics
  • Executive coaching from our seasoned, expert team of executive coaches

In addition, program participants received support and guidance from client sponsors and informal interaction with female senior partners who served as role models.


  • In one 12-year period, 42% of the women who participated were promoted.
  • The current retention rate is 97.8%, significantly improved from the 60% at the inception of the program.
  • More than 500 women have participated over the years.
  • The program has successfully supported the promotion of women for two decades and is the organization’s longest-running program for women.

Our Expertise

Accelerated Development Programs, Women Leaders

For more information, contact Brenda Wensil, Managing Director & Practice Leader, Leadership Acceleration, at