When seeking to understand why companies are less likely to retain and advance female employees, Boston Consulting Group (BCG) are keen to reject the traditional workplace concerns of unequal pay, maternity leave and striking a good work-life balance. Instead, BCG are exploring the possibility that the key to retaining a diverse workforce is for organisations to acknowledge the need for flexible apprenticeships and development programs that tailor for gender differences.
Since the introduction of BCG's Apprenticeship-in-Action Program (AiA), BCG have seen significant improvements in female promotions, attrition rates of women in senior positions has slowed and retention of women in mid-career levels is now equal to men. The AiA program focuses on three components of apprenticeship and development that drive employee satisfaction and retention. With a real focus on relationships, strength-based development and leadership styles, BCG are seeing real value in tailoring their program to support male and female talent in equal measure.
We recognize that we have further to go before we reach our ambition of gender parity. Nonetheless, our experimentation offers a rare example of long-term progress on diversity goals. Results to date make us optimistic that transforming the day-to-day apprenticeship experience is fundamental to improving the satisfaction, retention, and advancement of our diverse workforce.