{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "Promotion decisions are not a meritocracy. Women and minorities at my firm are consistently passed over for white men. Decisions seemed based on how much partners like you more than anything else.", "post_id": "5f253e74bd55f5002bab87a8", "reply_count": 116, "vote_count": 93, "bowl_id": "552d1d24dc1c586b09d2d051", "bowl_name": "Consulting", "feed_type": "crowd" }

Promotion decisions are not a meritocracy. Women and minorities at my firm are consistently passed over for white men. Decisions seemed based on how much partners like you more than anything else.

likefunnyhelpfulsmart
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As a woman of color, I would disagree with this characterization of BCG. I’m on the consulting side and have found the process to be more transparent and fair than other companies I have worked at, including consulting companies. Sorry to hear you’re having a bad experience OP but not every woman or PoC has the same experience. Yes you absolutely do need MDPs to advocate for you, especially on the consulting side. That is actually exactly how the industry works. But I’ve found the partners at BCG to be more vested in your success than many other places. I’m not saying the system is perfect or doesn’t have room for improvement. I’m just saying it’s better than many and it’s not a systemic problem.

likesmarthelpful

* grabs popcorn *.

As a female P said to me last year when she got promoted, “we both know I was only promoted because I’m a woman.” If anything, I think the likelihood of promotion is significantly higher for women and minorities as the firm tries to display diversity (a challenge when many women leave voluntarily) to counter concerns there are too many white men in leadership positions. I believe someone commented when recent MDP promotions came out that every female in the promotion time window was promoted, which was not the case for males.

likefunny

That comment is textbook imposter syndrome. I’d leave voluntarily too if my coworkers thought I️ was was only promoted because I️ was a woman. Have some empathy for your female coworkers and don’t downplay the reasoning behind their career advancement. It’s likely that they are already feeling insecure and questioning if they deserve it. You can earn a lot of respect by becoming an advocate for women and minorities

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Opposite scenario is true at a lot of firms. Women/minorities with worse performance metrics are being pushed upwards

likefunnysmarthelpful

BCG 11 and 12, it’s very possible, didn’t say there are no sub-5’9 partners, but we’re still definitely very much underrepresented compared to the general population. There’s no denying that 😂

funny

True in any place where humans work. Doubly true in consulting where evaluations are qualitative and not based on concrete metrics

likesmart

It’s opposite scenario at my firm

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M1 you still haven’t shared shared your firm? Please, the women following this need to know where they should apply

Be more likeable. If you want to be objectively measured by only your performance, try sports.

likefunny

Lol!

This is not founded in data, and false for women at BCG NAMR. At every level, BCG has retained women at the same rate as men for several years. It’s going to take awhile before that same retention rate equates to equal representation across roles, however, as women rise through promos. And lateral hires are not diverse at the same rate. It is true BCG has not been able (yet) to replicate the same retention rates for Black/POC CT staff. Source: Women at BCG did a presentation on these retention rates and I didn’t believe it. So I asked for the data and checked myself. I was pretty surprised and impressed, because it wasn’t my impression either.

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Lol did a quick google search about that study. “Retained women at the same rate as men” was not mentioned for all levels. Per the study, “retention of women in mid-career levels is now at parity with that of men” so if we only include woman with +10 years experience, retention rates are comparable. There’s still a silver lining tho.. if women survive the first 10 years, they’re now equally as likely as their counterparts to leave! https://static1.squarespace.com/static/578c4a19197aea41c7eed064/t/59af9c37893fc0f1e60210a7/1504681016742/How+We+Closed+the+Gap+Between+Mens+and+Womens+Retention+Rates.pdf

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There should be a more objective and quantifiable measure of performance. I came from a technocrat field, where you could clearly tie decisions to outcomes. So it’s just shocking to me that no one has tried to remedy an obvious flaw in the system.

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Unfortunately there are very few quantitative measures for "junior" consultants who don't have sales quotas. Utilization is tough because if a firm is fully booked everyone should be high unless you're really shit and noone wants to staff you. So it doesn't separate the general pool from top performers. You could try polling clients I guess and get their feedback. But ultimately it comes down to how good leadership thinks you are at your job. More quantitative measures in non-client facing work, e.g. did you develop a tool or playbook that helped win work and make projects more efficient?

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In my firm, if you are an average performer(woman), you have a high chance of becoming a partner.

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Have you had a couple average performing women advance or has every woman who’s mediocre advanced? Kudos to your firm for making strides to promote women and I’m truly sorry if your firm’s efforts have negatively impacted your advancement... I️ hope it helps to know there are still growing pains even after the initial glass ceiling has been broken. It’s an awful feeling when you get passed over for a promotion, but maybe this article will help provide context for the bigger picture: https://www.mckinsey.com/featured-insights/gender-equality/women-in-the-workplace-2019#

I agree this is the case at EY. Performance expectations during a promotion year for partners "pets" are way lower. It absolute bullshit what happens at EY.

likesmart

Well, you only get promoted for kissing the behind of the partners and being their salve basically

OP. Funny thing is, BCG is probably one of the best in the entire world at assessing, developing and appropriately promoting its people. While we all aspire to be better, and can be better, at everything we wish to do, perspective is very very important.

likefunny

So the original statement indicates partners like white men more than women and minorities. What can women and minorities do to make partners like them more? Or, what are white men doing differently than women and minorities?

likefunnysmart

Interesting way to view this as the fault of the women and minorities. People like people who’re like them. So I imagine white men are just being themselves.

likefunnyupliftingsmart

It's not just your firm OP. Almost all consulting firms are like this... if you produce for the right project or right partner who has a lot of influence, that's how people get promoted. Essentially more people will be recommended for promotion than can be promoted so the edge goes to those who have more or high influence advocates.

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There also this tendency of bringing up "lack of visibility" as a reason for not being promoted. But they fail to mention, how and what has to be done differently for next year.

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EY1 I️ feel you. After my first year, the “best” advice I️ received was from my director who said “you’re doing amazing work! Don’t worry, your work will speak for itself!” So I️ kept doing what I️ was doing expecting HR to email me out of the blue that I️ was getting a raise or promotion... based on current experiences, i would recommend asking everyone (often) what needs to be done or who you need talk to so you can better understand your career development path. Sometimes companies won’t have it laid out, but at least people will know you’re interested

Anecdotal evidence is not evidence, my friend...

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I see that things over on the classic consulting side has improved year after year, but being one of the alternative business units at BCG is pretty depressing in terms of statistics. Only 3 women out of over 60+ are Project Leader or more senior. Only one PL out of 27 are women, and she’s also the only one not laterally hired but promoted organically. I consistently see men promoted on a pretty fast timeline of 1-1.5 years- I have never seen this happen for women.

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This idea that the people who partners like have an easy time getting promoted is maybe missing something important. Why do you think certain people are liked by partners? I was very well liked by a few partners when I was a junior consultant, and it’s not because I’m inherently terribly likable - my level of popularity growing up made that plenty evident. But I was awesome at the job and rescued projects in bad situations over and over again. So yeah... I was the partner’s pet and got promoted real fast. But it had little to do with skin tone or ethnicity.

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These a couple things that weren’t addressed.. you can be awesome at your job and still not be noticed by a partner or other superior. On top of being terribly likable, it’s an entirely different skill to advocate FOR your work even after it’s proved successful. You can also even act as the partners pet, but still be seen as a secretary. Implicit bias is the issue here

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BCGOP was transitioned out, it is pretty clear based on the posts. Sorry you weren't good enough to cut it here. Better try a Big 4 next time.

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Yo don’t be a dick. Also a BCG MDP

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This sounds exactly like what I experience

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Anyone arguing that the opposite case is true, have you observed an overwhelming majority of all the women at your firm excelling consistently faster than their male counterparts? If your counterargument still holds, are you guys hiring?

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But the original post is that women and minorities are consistently overlooked by white men for promotions.. so wouldn’t the counterargument be that women and minorities are consistently excelling faster? Stating that men are “promoted because they are men at the expense of women” is not the original argument, but more of an inference. I’m interested in learning more about these other policies tho if you share the firms

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