United States

Developing allies to advance gender diversity

DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION  | 

A message from Dara Castle, Washington D.C. Metro Market Leader and leader of RSM’s women’s initiative and STAR (Stewardship and Teamwork for the Advancement and Retention of women) employee network group

Study after study from the likes of McKinsey, Google, Harvard and other prestigious organizations make the business case for gender diversity clear – companies that have more women on teams, specifically in leadership roles, are more successful than companies with fewer women.

So, what are we doing at RSM to ensure we provide an inclusive environment where women – and all of our people – can build successful careers? We’re doing a number of things, and one thing we know for certain is that it’s not up to the women alone. We all need allies. And that’s what we brought our leaders together to discuss at a recent 2019 RSM Women’s Leadership Meeting in Orlando.

It was two days of candid, honest conversations. Our women partners, principals and operations leaders – along with members of our next generation of female talent – came together with our broader leadership team to talk about why gender issues are important, why women need allies, and to discuss practical steps for how women can overcome gender challenges and how both men and women can be better allies to women at all levels.

As the leader of RSM’s women’s initiative and STAR (Stewardship and Teamwork for the Advancement and Retention of women) employee network group, I can tell you that RSM is taking big steps to close the gender gap. Having gender issues as a featured topic in three out of the last four leadership meetings alone speaks volumes. And we receive tremendous support for the networking, leadership and skill development activities we host through STAR, including key training that’s customized for an all-women audience.

Throughout our recent Women’s Leadership meeting, we kept coming back to this quote from researcher and best-selling author, Brené Brown: “Brave leaders are never silent about hard things.” It’s a powerful statement. Improving gender diversity isn’t easy, but RSM has brave leaders who I know are up for the task because at RSM we understand and value the unique contributions of our women – and of all of our people.