As part of its commitment, the WAB established KPMG’s Network of Women (KNOW) in late 2003 to drive its strategy, deliver programs, and strengthen strategic alliances at the local level. With the formation of the WAB in 2003, KPMG’s leadership reaffirmed the importance of attracting and retaining qualified women as a strategic business imperative for the firm.
Together, the WAB and its local KNOW chapters work to develop and drive firmwide initiatives that would not only improve the retention of women, but also create meaningful opportunities for their personal and professional growth. But in addition to laying a foundation for the advancement of KPMG’s women, the creation of the WAB helped shape the firm’s overall diversity strategy, and inspired what was to become KPMG’s Great Place to Build a Career strategy, a comprehensive and interconnected set of programs, resources, and benefits that touch on all aspects of employee engagement - recruitment and retention, training and career development, work/life effectiveness and flexibility, and diversity and inclusion.
KPMG’s Great Place to Build a Career strategy helped the firm achieve its goal of being an employer of choice, as well as a great place to work and build a career, and we’re very proud that it was recognized with the prestigious Catalyst Award, an honor bestowed to only a select few organizations in recognition of exceptional programs to support and advance women in business.
As the WAB moves toward its 10th anniversary in 2013, it continues to play a key role in shaping KPMG’s overall diversity strategy while expanding programs to develop our women. Now chaired by the KPMG’s national partner in charge, Operations, and her co-chair, the managing partner of our Short Hills, NJ, office, today the WAB comprises 17 members, including two men.
Strategic Relationships Support Sustainable Leadership
To further support the professional development of our women, KPMG has established strategic relationships with several prestigious women’s organizations outside the firm to provide them with opportunities to expand their leadership skills, initiate career-enhancing relationships, and increase their visibility as professionals in the marketplace.
- • Women Corporate Directors (WCD) - KPMG is proud to be a founding sponsor of Women Corporate Directors, a global organization of more than 1,400 women who serve on more than 1,550 boards of directors worldwide. Our sponsorship provides opportunities for our women partners to connect with and build relationships with senior women representing many of our client companies, while enabling them to further develop their own leadership skills through their participation in various committees and other activities. KPMG women partners and other professionals are involved in, or co-chair, most of the 42 WCD chapters worldwide.
- • InterOrganization Network (ION) - KPMG also is a founding sponsor of ION, which was founded in 2004 and consists of 14 regional organizations in the United States that combine their energies in advocating the advancement of women to positions of power in the business world, especially to boards of directors and executive suites. We currently have a KPMG woman partner liaison for each of ION’s 14 member organizations, and a member of our Board of Directors serves on ION’s Advisory Council.
- • ATHENA International - With women comprising nearly half of KPMG’s hires every year, we are committed to working with women’s professional organizations like ATHENA International that help us support, advance, retain, and reward them. KPMG serves as an international underwriter of ATHENA’s Young Professional Leadership Award program events, which are hosted in more than 200 communities in seven countries. By the end of 2011, we had rolled out the award program in 25 of our priority offices across the U.S. KPMG also has historically held a board seat with ATHENA, and we are proud to be a recipient of ATHENA’s 2010 Organizational Leadership Award, which is given to organizations that encourage women employees to achieve their leadership potential and support leadership development initiatives in the community.