40%say women are treated fairly and equally to men
40%would recommend to other women
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I believe that FSG is a special place to work; people are highly intelligent, brilliant thinkers, and truly believe in using their skills to make a difference in the world. Generally, I think that the firm tries and very badly wants to value women and diversity. However, in my experience, it is still a company that is highly wed to a traditional consulting model making it very difficult to actually live this value. Rarely, during my tenure, did I see the organization able to move outside its traditional model; instead employees were generally required to conform to that model. For those employees that were not able or willing to find a place within that model they usually ended up leaving. This usually included young mothers and racial minorities.
Also, opportunities for women to find strong mentors varied. Some offices had senior women that acted as mentors and support, however the office I predominantly worked out of had no senior female leaders. Only after leaving did I realize how profoundly different my experience might have been had I had a strong mentor or support to guide me.
Finally, I think the firm still has a lot of work to do when thinking about working mothers. I left the firm once I started a family because the model was just unsustainable for me despite a reduced schedule. FSG is the most intense place to work that I have ever experienced (more so than the for profit strategy firm I worked for prior to FSG). People are typical type A strategy consultants but are motivated more by having an impact and less by pay. This leads to a culture where the work is never enough--you can always have more impact. Impact is an acceptable motivation to put before your family. This culture meant that it was very difficult for me to step back on a reduced schedule; to me it felt like the expectations never changed. I continually felt like I was under-performing at my job and under-performing with my family. On a tactical level, firm provides 6 weeks of maternity leave and also provides 6 weeks of paternity leave to men; women can also take additional unpaid time off. 6 weeks is just not realistic for working mothers particularity for a firm that hopes to be cutting edge on diversity and women's issues. It's forward thinking to provide paternity leave, but the policy implies to me that somehow men bear the same level of responsibility when it comes to giving birth-- which when when you are only given six weeks is really what you are still recovering from. This policy also puts women who are the primary breadwinner or who have fewer family resources at a distinct disadvantage over those that can afford to take unpaid time off and properly recover from the impact of bearing a child.
There are a lot of women working here and some women in leadership positions, though less than men. Many women working in consulting that are not in leadership positions choose to leave or transition to internal roles after having children, given time and travel demands of the job. FSG does offer a relatively flexible and generous part-time option for working parents (commonly 60 or 80 percent of full time with continued full benefits including excellent healthcare). Note that the FSG work week is longer than 40 hours per week, so a part-time role at FSG may actually be on par with a full-time job at another organization. FSG's full-time salary reflects generous pay for a social sector organization, though hours are also longer than most social sector organizations. Women who choose to work part-time may work close to or more than a 40 hour work week, though salaries at the part-time level may end up being less than a "full time" role (though with comparable hours) at another social sector organization. FSG offers a rigorous pace, interesting work on issues that matter at a large scale, and a chance to grow professionally with talented leaders and colleagues. Part-time workers will likely feel fulfilled professionally and challenged but may find it difficult to advance.
Parental leave policies are somewhat unique and some employees regard them as unequal and more favorable towards men. The official policy is to "provide" six weeks of full pay to both genders. However, the source of this pay varies by gender. Men receive six full weeks of parental leave directly from FSG. Women receive 60 percent of six weeks disability pay from a company-sponsored short-term disability plan and 40 percent of six weeks pay for family leave directly from FSG. Unlike some other employers, FSG does not distinguish disability leave from parental leave in its definition of equality. It's more commmon for employers to pay the same amount of parental leave directly to employees, and then to enable women to supplement their leave with payments from disability insurance.
It's important to communicate that you're flexible and can be available (within reason) when there's a crunch period or urgent deadline.