Fostering Female Leadership with a Female Leadership Coaching Program
The chance to talk regularly to one of Roland Berger's German Managing Directors about our current KPI and incentive system, about building client relationships, and also about topics such as (not only) female inclusion and ways to increase the proportion of women in management positions? The one-year Female Leadership Coaching program that is currently taking place offers precisely this opportunity and addresses these and other topics.
I am Franziska, a Senior Consultant based in Berlin and part of the Roland Berger Female Leadership Coaching program that is currently being piloted with 16 female Senior Consultants, five sponsors (Roland Berger Partners Constanze Schweinsteiger, Julia Duwe, Norbert Dressler, Markus Kaufmann and Pascal Lehnen) and two external coaches.
Aims of the Female Leadership Coaching program
The program, designed specifically for female Senior Consultants, targets several levels – the individual, the group and the organizational level – in a bid to further advance female leadership at Roland Berger. It also promotes exchange between Partners and consultants and specifically gives male sponsors the responsibility for further promoting and advocating for female leadership topics in the organization.
Structure of the program
The one-year program started in May 2023 with a two-day kick-off workshop near Munich, where all sponsors, the participants, the two coaches and HR as an enabler got to know each other, jointly discussing and laying the foundations for this journey.
Four one-day group coaching sessions are being held for all participating female Senior Consultants throughout the year up to April 2024. This is supplemented by monthly leadership sessions in small groups, each with a sponsor. The program also offers the opportunity to take a total of four individual coaching sessions on individual topics with one of the two external coaches throughout the year. In order to advance and think further about topics related to female leadership throughout the Roland Berger organization, there will also be several leadership touchpoints with our sponsors, during which the participants will discuss their suggestions and ideas based on a previously set agenda.
So what is this all about?
The group sessions with all participating female Senior Consultants focus on topics related to leadership and personal development and are designed to be very interactive and enriched with many discussions and exchanges of experience. We have learned and discussed leadership principles, including transformational leadership and the differences between feminine and masculine leadership. After conducting an honest self-test, we spoke openly about our "saboteurs", i.e. our inner auto-pilot drivers, and personal reasons for inner conflicts and how to overcome them. We also practiced the healthy handling of stress and how to effectively prioritize our work, accompanied by exercises such as meditation or breathing exercises. Another session tackled the topic of building our own brand, where we developed a personal vision statement and discussed how to know – and also show – our own worth.
In one of the four individual coaching sessions, I was able to analyze my approach to tackling conflicts at work and to deepen my understanding about my inner saboteurs. We are currently preparing for the three leadership touchpoints with our sponsors in small groups, where we'll be discussing KPIs to embrace female leadership, as well as what Roland Berger can do to support sustainable female careers and how to co-create a more inclusive culture within Roland Berger.
My learnings and take-aways
This multi-dimensional program has so far been enriching in many ways: Not only can I and the other female participants learn from the knowledge, expertise and company insights contributed by our sponsors, but we can discuss with them honestly and directly, on an equal footing, the challenges and the journey Roland Berger still has to go on towards a more inclusive culture. I really enjoy the discussions with my female peers, all of them inspiring young women who are willing to speak up and step out of their comfort zone.
A huge thanks to Friederike and Annelie from HR who enabled and facilitated this program. Now it is all about putting our learnings and insights into practice and into the company by initiating debates and actions to implement this change together.
With Marcus Berret, one of our Global Managing Directors, as program sponsor and engaged female and male partners as participating sponsors, Roland Berger is demonstrating its willingness to develop future (not only) female – but more importantly, human – leaders.
Another round of this program for our female Senior Consultants in DACH will be launched in Q1/2024. The internal application process will start in January, stay tuned!