Unfortunately, like we see in many other sectors, there are way fewer women in consulting than men. However, clients actually want to see more women in management consulting teams, as indicated in a survey conducted by Source Information Services where 100 senior executives where questioned about the role women play in consulting teams. 90% of them we’re interested in seeing teams that were more gender balanced for a number of reasons.
One of these reasons was women help consulting teams think longer term and more laterally. They are believed to be better coaches and faster at developing relationships, more reflective and more engaged, as well as more prepared to take time and are more thoughtful. It was believed that consulting teams with a greater proportion of women deliver solutions of better quality, and female project managers were better at stakeholder management. More than 80% of those surveyed believed that a project is more likely to keep to budget and time if it is run by a woman.
Now that it’s clear how much women are wanted in the industry, what are the perks of chasing a career in consulting?
In a Forbes article by The Muse, we learn some of the lesser-known perks of working in consulting, other than the money. First, you won’t have to go the long haul of climbing the corporate ladder before you start working on top level, company-wide strategic problems. A career in consulting can take you right to the top before your peers.
Another advantage of a career in consulting is the variety of dynamic projects you get to work on as a consultant. You get the opportunity to meet different people within a company and see different company cultures. By regularly meeting people, you’ll be able to build a vast and valuable network almost instantly. Working with numerous stakeholders and clients as you go through different projects allows you to build valuable relationships across various organizations with senior individuals. These are the kinds of connections that can lead to other consulting engagements, mentorships, or job offers.
Starting a career in consulting will see you become an expert quickly due to the quantity and speed of learning. You’ll work with teams in a fast-paced environment and quickly learn from those who are more experienced. Since consultants are expected to stay ahead of trends, you’ll be reading a lot about trends in different industries which you’ll discuss and challenge with your colleagues. With a career in consulting, once you’re good at what you do, you can fly; you don’t have to wait for your boss to leave before you can expand your horizon.
What kinds of consulting jobs are there?
Consultants may be from any field and serve in a variety of capacities. We can start by separating consultants into generalist consultants who are experts in many fields, and specialist consultants who are knowledgeable or certified in a particular industry or segment of a company.
There are strategy consultants, IT consultant, HR consultants, operations consultants, and many other types of consultants who serve in one capacity or another in a company. Many firms that offer consultancy services focus on specific kinds of consulting, for instance, Sistema Technologies provides companies with IT consultants. There are other kinds of companies that are generalist in nature and provide a variety of consultancy services to suit their clients’ needs.
There is definitely a place for women in consulting, but of course, like everything else, you have to weigh the good sides and the bad sides before taking a leap.