This site runs best with JavaScript enabled

Be the best version of you

small logo

We believe unleashing our individual potential starts when people feel empowered to bring their entire selves to work.

We need to feel safe and supported to speak up, share our ideas and spark courageous conversations that help bring out the best in all of us.

We know that our diverse backgrounds, experiences and perspectives help us to see things differently to the person next to us. As an organisation, we need that diversity of viewpoints and innovative thinking from our people to achieve the game-changing results we aim for when partnering with clients.

Our simple belief is that we achieve better outcomes when people feel safe to be themselves. That is why we work hard to create a working environment in which all our people can belong, contribute and thrive.

As a firm, we are committed to building an inclusive, diverse, flexible, and accessible culture in which all our people can unleash their full potential. As part of International Women's Day this year, we sat down with a few of our female leaders across the globe to bring these important conversations to the forefront.

Inclusion and Diversity conversations

"Having diversity of people, who have different ways of doing or thinking about things, is critical to coming up with the right solutions and answers to stay ahead."

"Having diversity of people, who have different ways of doing or thinking about things, is critical to coming up with the right solutions and answers to stay ahead."

Hannah: Tell us about your career path?

Colleen: I started out in consulting at Bain and Partners in Performance, before deciding to do an MBA. I left to join the corporate world, to understand what it's like on the other side. I have always been very curious, wanting to experience all the world has to offer, and have been fortunate to work in America, Africa, Europe and Australia. Ultimately, I wanted to understand what consulting looks like at a more senior level, which is where you find me at the moment.

Hannah: So, a really diverse career. Why do you think inclusion and diversity are important for organisations?

Colleen: I think the world is changing very fast, so companies cannot just ‘do what they have always done’. Some form of technology disruption is impacting every industry, requiring a lot of problem-solving in change. I think the key to problem-solving is having many different options to consider. Having diversity of people, who have different ways of doing or thinking about things, is critical to coming up with the right solutions and answers to stay ahead.

Hannah: And having more minds on a problem is better than one type of mind.

Colleen: Exactly, and there are individual unique perspectives. Every person will have a different perspective, because they’ve grown up with a different background, different family environment, different levels of affluence or educational background.

Hannah: When it comes to gender diversity in the workplace, what would you like to see change for women in the consulting industry?

Colleen: Many changes I would like for women, I would like for everybody. I would love to see more focus on efficiency and effectiveness during a reasonable number of hours, rather than thinking working more hours is how to display your value. Enabling people to have balance in their personal lives and the ability to interact with their families and their children. We need to keep challenging ourselves on how we support people in different ways to enable them to take on new challenges.

Hannah: How can women today support and empower the next generation of female leaders?

Colleen: One is just turning up and being there; being very visible and accessible so if people want to talk to you, you are available. I think giving good quality feedback is important, which is the way you learn and grow. Offering feedback around style and presentation, not at a technical level, but in how you present yourself.  This is something I think about often, what else I could be doing to help.

Hannah: What advice would you give to women who are just starting out in their consulting career?

Colleen: The reality is we all will run into a few bumps and hurdles throughout our career. Remember you are not alone. You have a huge support network of other women who will understand and support you – you just need to reach out.

Hannah: What do you think we should all be doing to challenge gender bias and inequality?

Colleen: Try to challenge stereotypes and generalisations. Individuals within each ‘group’ are diverse as well. It can be simple things like challenging language and how people use it – for example if they talk about ‘the sales guy’ or ‘the next CEO, he will be great’. I think it’s just raising those topics and trying to challenge inequality when you see it.

"It is not about Partners in Performance positioning me as a leader in the organisation, it is about me not undermining my skills and ability to lead, evolve and demonstrate through my work why I am here as a leader."

"It is not about Partners in Performance positioning me as a leader in the organisation, it is about me not undermining my skills and ability to lead, evolve and demonstrate through my work why I am here as a leader."

Mohamed: Tell us about your career path.

Alison: Prior to Partners in Performance, I was an internal consultant at a large retailer in Canada. I had known that I wanted to be a management consultant for quite some time, so I left the retailer to pursue an MBA. The one thing that challenged me about management consulting in my studies was the component of completing an amazing strategy piece that subsequently sits on the shelf. That was the one aspect I was trying to overcome while looking for the right organisation. Then I found Partners in Performance, and it seemed like a great fit. I moved to Australia in 2017 and joined the Melbourne Office. Then after COVID emerged, I relocated to North America.

Mohamed: Why do you think inclusion and diversity are so important for organisations?

Alison: I grew up in Toronto, which is one of the most diverse cities in the world. I almost took it for granted because it was just a part of growing up for me. Then, once I began moving into the workforce, I found that the higher you go, the less diversity you see. Yet there are so many benefits of diversity for communities in general. Greater innovation and creativity and less ‘group think’ since everyone is not thinking the same nor had the same experiences. At Partners in Performance, I have seen a lot of progression over the last few years. While remote working was always part of our DNA, we introduced paternity leave, part-time working and, after COVID, we have adapted further. We have learned that hybrid work is a viable option, and now we can leverage people from across the world in a way we didn’t before. I think we have done a great job at starting down this journey while continuing to address the work still to be done.

Mohamed: In your career, have you overcome challenges or roadblocks for women in consulting?

Alison: In certain industries and across senior leadership, you will find more men than women. For a young woman entering that environment to lead engagements, it can be challenging sometimes to get buy-in as a thought partner or as a leader of the organisation. That has led me to have open conversations with my managers and leaders in ways that allow me to bring my whole self to work. It is not about Partners in Performance positioning me as a leader in the organisation, it is about me not undermining my skills and ability to lead, evolve and demonstrate through my work why I am here as a leader.

Mohamed: Lastly, how can women today support and empower the next generation of female leaders?

Alison: I find that women are often very empathetic. We can problem-solve for others – tell them to stand up for themselves, to bring something forward – easier than we can for ourselves. I would champion us to that dynamic, and for women to commit to coaching, developing and learning from the next generation.

"Inclusion and Diversity is about more than the policies and programs that we are putting in place; it is about respecting unique needs and perspectives, as well as the potential of all team members."

"Inclusion and Diversity is about more than the policies and programs that we are putting in place; it is about respecting unique needs and perspectives, as well as the potential of all team members."

Supriya: Can you tell us about your career path?

Luizet: When I began my career, I never thought that I was going to become a consultant. Initially, I was a researcher and a teaching assistant, but an article that I wrote about mergers and acquisitions in the financial sector caught the interest of McKinsey, and I was headhunted. That was my introduction to consulting. After that, I spent the next 20 odd years in financial services and consulting, both in Turkey and then in South Africa. Now I find myself at Partners in Performance, a place where I'm really happy and excited to be, in terms of the different engagements that we are doing and how we collaborate with our clients to achieve a continuous improvement in their organisation.

Supriya: That’s fascinating. So as a woman working in this industry, do you feel that inclusion and diversity are important for organisations such as ours?

Luizet: Definitely. Inclusion and Diversity is about more than the policies and programs that we are putting in place; it is about respecting unique needs and perspectives, as well as the potential of all team members. That approach builds better trust and a sense of community with the people that we are working alongside.

Supriya: How do you feel that women in positions such as yours can help guide future generations of female leaders?

Luizet: It starts with empowering young girls. In Africa, that is a big theme: making sure that we encourage girls that they can pursue STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). We need to shut down negativity and boost the self-esteem of the next generation so that by the time they enter the workforce, they know exactly where they want to take their career. Being more senior, we have a duty to develop female talent. We need to not just have diverse leadership in the future, but today, and we should actively seek opportunities to mentor young women. At Partners in Performance, we have a great buddy system. I see that, alongside our Woman's Think Tank, working very well for our female consultants because both initiatives are part of our responsibility to set an example for continuous learning.

Supriya: What advice would you give to women who are starting out in their consulting careers?

Luizet: We need to take ownership of our career path. If we know where we want to go, then we can ask for the right type of support, proactively manage our career and decide our priorities. Let us not focus on external factors but look internally and say: “this is what I need.”

Supriya: What do you think we should all be doing to challenge gender bias and inequality?

Luizet: Speaking up. Sometimes we see it happen, but we can feel inhibited to object because we might be the only woman in a team, or the most junior. My pledge moving forward will be to always speak up because just one person saying something can help all women in the workplace.