Accenture: ‘Don’t confuse activity with results’


Tech bosses fire warn that industry is focusing too much on creating diversity programmes and not enough on outcomes

Digital bosses keen to recruit more women into a female-starved sector have warned companies that there remains a long way to go before real progress is made. Just 22% of the 100,000 delegates to this week’s Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona were women, leaders from the event have warned. Although some progress has been made – last year, only 11% of delegates were female – Gary Heffernan, senior managing director of management consultancy giant Accenture, warned that companies risk conflating the existence of diversity programmes with positive results from them. “Don’t confuse activity with results,” Heffernan said at the Connected Women event at MWC. He added that corporates should forge alliances so that future diversity seminars would be made from the main stages of MWC rather than from fringe locations in the conference hall.

Speakers including Nokia’s chief strategy officer Kathrin Buvac and Facebook’s Jackie Chang used the event to discuss the key challenges and opportunities faced by women in the global mobile industry, and offer strategic advice on how to realize the opportunity of greater inclusion of women in the sector.

Also featured was Nathan Ott, chief executive of global headhunters EG1. Ott warned that many organizations are stuck using one-dimensional leadership metrics that favour the status quo. The GC Index – a brainchild of Ott and his colleagues at EG1 – is revolutionizing the way that organizations assess and develop their talent. The index’s fresh approach to assessing leadership skills is helping combat the lack of gender diversity in business management, Ott added.