Our Consulting Approach
From the very start of our organization, we have always used the motto “keep it meaningful”. With everything we do we are focused on making a meaningful impact. For example, by helping female led ventures get funding (Grow F) or helping female talent become more confident leaders (Lead F). Our meaningful connections have always been a cornerstone to what we do at Female Founders, which is why we are officially launching our consulting services to help more companies bring meaningful change to their organizations.
We want to help companies who are truly focused on improving their diversity and inclusion efforts, and more specifically the state of gender equality within their organisation. We believe a meaningful partnership starts with shared values. If your motivation to work with us is just to check a box, then we won’t be a good fit. We treat our partnerships like our friendships – we tell you exactly how it is without any BS, and we hold you accountable.
We focus on two main areas in our consulting work: talent development and recruiting. We have helped our partners to design mentoring programs, implement diversity and inclusion initiatives, and re-structure recruiting processes. In whatever capacity we work together you can always expect measurable goals & results, co-created individual roadmaps, and of course fun.
Ready to take meaningful actions and see real lasting changes? Keep reading to learn about our four step process, plus how you can avoid the common mistakes we have seen our partners make.
#1 Dig Deep
So you’ve decided to work with us, great! No matter what the purpose or goal of the project we are working on together, the first step is always a deep dive into the problem. We want to figure out the “why” and “how” of the problem and analyse the status quo.
Depending on your needs, we look at the data you currently have, and figure out what data is missing. On top of the quantitative information we want to get to know your company one step deeper. We can do this by looking at the qualitative data as well through talking with your team and holding interviews with stakeholders or key employees. This helps us to understand how your organization functions, what pain points there are, and get clear on the problem we are trying to solve. For our approach it is important that we really get to know your company, learn what makes your team special and how we can help you grow.
Let’s look at an example. You come to us because you want to increase the number of women in management positions at your company. We would start by getting to the root of the problem. Why exactly aren’t there enough women in management positions? Is it due to lack of management training or company culture (ie. to be a manager you have to work over 80 hours a week) or something completely different? In order to find the answer we would look at their overall employee performance review process, interview multiple women at different levels in the company, and the overall working environment as well as other factors based on what we find in our initial analysis.
The Mistake: The worst thing you can do during this stage is not be fully honest and transparent about your current situation. We know it can be hard to talk about challenging areas, we are here to support you (plus: honesty is always the best policy ;)). The more we understand the status quo, the more we can do moving forward to make lasting change.
#2 Make it Meaningful and Measurable
After we have gotten to know your team and company inside and out, it’s time to create measurable goals and a roadmap. This point of the project is one that we really love. In this phase we work together to co-create a tailored roadmap of what you want to achieve, and how we will achieve it. This is where we often see the passion and inspiring visions that teams have for their organizations, and being able to help them realise this is something special to us.
Every step on this road map will have specific measurable actions to make sure we are seeing impact throughout the process. We don’t want to only see the end product, instead we pay attention to all of the moving parts and are constantly communicating during the consulting period. Openness and talking is important but it’s also important to make sure there are actions in place to back up the talk!
Based on the status quo we define short term and long term goals. We make sure that these goals hold you accountable and fit in with overall company objectives. For example, if the objective is to have more female applicants to your job openings we would set a numerical goal of, let’s say, a 30% increase in the number of women applying to new job postings. This way we can clearly see if this goal is being reached or not.
From here we need to define the measures that will be taken to achieve the goals. Using the same example of wanting more female applicants, one measure we could take is redesigning your job postings to ensure female talent isn’t being pushed away by the language that is being used.
Lastly we need responsibility. To make sure these actions are put in place we assign owners to them and set dates for check ins and deadlines.
The Mistake: At this stage the biggest mistake that we see is companies not having C-Suite level buy into the process. The best way to make progress and move forward is to have the executive team on board. This doesn’t mean they need to be part of every single step of the way but they need to understand the “why” behind the initiative and show support for the actions being taken to make changes.
#3 Ready, Set, Implement
Once we’ve defined the problem, set out our roadmap and have the executive team in the loop ready to support, what’s next?
Implementation! It’s time to start putting all of the hard work and planning into motion to reach those goals! Once we have decided the specific measures that your company needs there are different actions that we will take with varying degrees of collaboration. These can include implementing measures with our support or without, using our resources to bring in speakers or lead workshops, or having our team take complete responsibility for the execution of the plan. Together we will determine what the best option is to reach the short term and long term goals and KPIs.
The Mistake: At this phase we typically see the mistake of companies not appointing a specific team to the project. In the scenarios where companies do have their own internal team involved the programs run substantially smoother and feedback tends to be implemented much faster.
#4 Measure, Adjust, Repeat
The last step in the process is a cycle of iteration. The cycle starts with measuring results to see what impact the initiatives had so far. Next we take stock of what we measured compared to the set goals. Based on the data, adjustments are made to keep everything going on the right track.
If things aren’t going exactly as planned right off the bat it’s not the end of the world. Small changes can be made throughout this last step to make sure you get the end results you set out to. This step is especially important as we want to keep all decision makers in the loop and demonstrate the qualitative and quantitative outcomes of the measures we put in place.
The Mistake: It is a common misconception that the final step is a one and done process. Measuring results is critical to all of our projects in order to better understand if our initiatives are having the impact they were designed to have. We are here to help you set up a process to get real time feedback so you can continue to improve.
Offering our consulting services on a more formal level is something that we are really looking forward to. We have seen the demand for different initiatives surrounding recruiting female talent, diversity & inclusion, and learning & development.
We are excited about the opportunity to help companies facilitate impactful changes. We are passionate about making a difference and this comes through in the work that we do. Our co-creation approach is a fun but no BS way to develop a customised offering and plan for each client we work with. We will tell you exactly how we see things and really make a meaningful impact.
If you are interested in learning more about our consulting services, reach out to Amelia Suda!
If you want to learn more about Female Founders check out our website here.
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