There’s an interesting story on the Big Four which is worth a read for anyone interested in leadership and diversity within professional service firms. It’s about who makes partner. The similarities with law firms are interesting, driven, male, workaholic tendencies are pushed to the fore but I also noted some differences (at least with my own conceptions of who makes (equity) partner in – say – Magic Circle Firms). The numbers are fewer, 1-2% but also their backgrounds were notable. The researchers say:
We talked to over 50 partners, ex-partners and people who didn’t make partner in Britain and Canada. The similarities far overshadowed any differences. Partners were very much “self-made men” and, save for a few exceptions, were drawn from modest social backgrounds. This meritocratic quality was deeply infused within the firms we visited, with a notable ‘can do’ ethos.
Cash is still king (perhaps more so), but the emphasis on merit and where that has led in terms of diversity is interesting.