A Night to Remember

When we decided to launch our Women Leaders in Consulting awards last year, I think it’s safe to say we weren’t really sure how it would be received. We knew that for far too long women in consulting had been overlooked, and we always suspected their impact on the industry was far greater than what they had been given credit for. In our own small way, we had hoped by shining a light on last year’s women leaders, we might be able to inspire a few more women in the profession to stand up and give the industry the opportunity to recognize them for their efforts.

And stand up they did. For this year’s Women Leaders in Consulting awards, we received nearly 250 nominations. Based on the previous year, we were hoping for about 100. Reading through all those nominations was not easy, but it was inspiring. To see nomination after nomination penned by CEOs, co-workers, clients and even family members extolling the virtues of women consultants was rewarding, to say the least. While we always thought women consultants were accomplishing great things, it was affirming to see those achievements in black and white.

Choosing just eight winners, of course, was the most difficult part of the entire process. But the eight we chose—Jeanie Daniel Duck of the Boston Consulting Group, Holly Benson of Infosys Consulting, HP’s Valerie Logan, PwC’s Vicki Huff, Janice James from Huron Consulting Group, Monitor Group’s Heidi Fung, Karla Martin from Booz & Company and Proudfoot’s Channing Rollo—represent the best the profession has to offer. Combined, they have more than 125 years of consulting experience at some of the top management consultancies in the industry. Their collective experience is vast and varied—from a pioneer who was instrumental in the early development of change management to a visionary who built a worldwide practice from the ground up to future leaders poised for great things tomorrow, but making an impact today.

At the gala ceremony at the Waldorf-Astoria, each woman stressed how she couldn’t have done it alone. Booz & Company’s Karla Martin likened it to being a child at a parade. “Other women in the firm have lifted me up on their shoulders so, I, too, could witness the entire spectacle in all its grandeur.”

No doubt this year’s Women Leaders in Consulting will do the same for future award winners.

See coverage in the November/December Issue of Consulting magazine.