Senior Managing Director, FTI Consulting
Leadership across FTI Consulting and our Technology segment are committed to empowering female professionals and supporting them through every stage of their career growth. As part of this, we continually facilitate conversations that elevate essential topics in leadership and diversity, inclusion and belonging. As an example, I recently had the honour of hosting a webcast with four distinguished women, including FTI Technology’s Global CEO Sophie Ross and Karen Briggs, the firm’s EMEA head of Technology and Forensic & Litigation Consulting segments, alongside Amali de Alwis MBE, CEO of Founders Forum and Sue McLean, Partner at Baker McKenzie.
The panel, International Women's Day 2021 - Three Months On - Keeping the Conversation Alive, was an opportunity to recognise and discuss the importance of female leadership across legal, technology, consulting and other industries and what more needs to be done to close opportunity gaps for girls and women around the world. Our panellists also discussed current trends and issues impacting business today.
In this two-part blog series, I’ll share key takeaways from the discussion, first focusing on the extent of disruption and advancement our panellists have helped lead, as well as pieces of advice they shared from their experiences throughout their careers. Throughout, themes of resilience and courage surfaced repeatedly.
In kicking off the discussion, Sophie first spoke about the strategic turnaround she led for the Technology segment over the last several years and why this effort was representative of her leadership style and the direction of our business. In leading a significant evolution toward a more client-centric approach, Sophie recognised not only the importance of this change in serving clients but also in empowering our people to deepen their expertise across critical areas, including emerging data, M&A investigations, data privacy and prioritising diversity.
Likewise, Karen shared how openness to change and challenge has carried her through various leadership roles across forensic accounting, investigations, litigation and technology at top consulting firms. She said, “I’ve relished all my roles and am not afraid of change. This has given me insight into so many ways of working so that I feel I’m continually learning from my teams and clients.”
For Sophie and the other panellists, the ability to practice resilience in the face of change is essential. The past year put everyone’s resilience to the ultimate test, and Sophie reflected on her deep admiration for those who continued driving growth and improvement amid an unprecedented crisis. She expressed excitement for the role this renewed sense of collective strength will play in tackling persistent diversity, inclusion, and belonging challenges.
The speakers were also unanimous in their belief that solving challenging problems—especially those facing women in male-dominated industries—and staying apace with technological advancement requires a mindset that rejects fear. Again and again, attendees were urged never to shy away from asking tough questions, to have the courage to take big leaps, to get out of their comfort zone and to trust in their ability to learn as they go.
With roots in technology, our speakers know the critical nature technology plays at the forefront of solving complex problems. They want women in technology, or women considering entering the field, to be fearless with their innovations and trust in the talents they have to offer.
Sophie summed it up perfectly by saying, “We are in a special time right now, and things are moving faster than ever, which is creating a lot of opportunity for innovation. Anyone, wherever they are in their career, should trust there is room for the angle they bring to the table.”
Check out this clip from the panel discussion, International Women's Day 2021 - Three Months On - Keeping the Conversation Alive. Stay tuned for Part Two of this blog series for more insights from our speakers.