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Elisabeth Denner
Firm-wide Diversity Leader

At BearingPoint, we want diversity to be part of our daily routine.

To us, diversity is about having a workforce composed of the widest range of people and talent; a mix that reflects the makeup of the markets and communities we serve. Inclusion is about creating an environment where everyone, regardless of gender, age, family status, ethnicity, or background, can be themselves at work and build a rewarding career.

We strongly believe that promoting diversity and inclusion is integral to the achievement of our ambitious goals for growth by 2020. Diversity and inclusion are founded on the recognition that we are all different, each with a unique background, range of skills, and capabilities. By harnessing these differences, we can gain a competitive advantage and make BearingPoint an even greater place to work. It is about how we support effective team building across more than 30 locations, over 70 nationalities, and different competency groups working at the firm and how we use this to create a culture in which difference is recognized and valued.

We are committed to generating awareness and understanding at all levels of the challenges associated with diversity. Diversity sponsors and leaders from our leadership and HR teams shape the agenda and, with the support of a network of Diversity Champions acting as a sounding board, set priorities for diversity and inclusion every year.

In 2016, we again showed progress in reaching our diversity and inclusion objectives by implementing a range of measures:

Gender diversity remains a priority

We aim to greatly increase the proportion of women across the firm and we are addressing this in an open and transparent way.

Last year, for the first time, we set a target of 20 percent for female Partners in the firm by 2020. This goal is backed up with an annual target and pipeline development in each region. We are already showing good progress with 25 percent of Partner candidates for 2017 being female.

We pay particular attention to the development of female consultants and we have a Women’s Leadership Program dedicated to the advancement of female consultants. In addition, our firm-wide talent program was made up of 40 percent female participants in 2016.

We are also developing a range of measures to enhance our recruitment practices and our employer brand with a view to attracting and hiring more women to the firm.

However, as of 2016, we have expanded our diversity and inclusion agenda beyond the focus on gender.

Flexible work options for all our people

Flexibility is a key priority for us and is integral to the way we work with our clients and with each other. We build on a strong culture of empowerment and embrace a broad range of formal and informal flexible working practices to deliver high-quality service for our clients and secure the commitment of our people. We recognize that all of us have commitments outside of work and we believe that respect for a healthy work-life balance is key to realizing potential. We offer a range of options for flexibility, including part-time work, working from home, and “buying” additional holiday. These are the first steps of a larger initiative on how to offer a more flexible workplace to our people.

Developing “affinity networks”

Affinity networks celebrate difference and give visibility to groups that share a common bond or background.

In 2016, we launched women’s networks in all of our larger offices, sponsored by senior female leaders acting as role models. These networks give a platform to women to connect with other female colleagues, offer support to each other, and determine an agenda based on which to engage with our leaders.

Overall, we are still on the journey but I am happy to see that we are making progress. In 2016, 35 percent of new hires were women. People representing 74 different nationalities work at the firm. I can see real commitment and support for our diversity agenda. We still have much to do to make BearingPoint more diverse and more inclusive, but I am confident that we are heading in the right direction.