In 1999, when Deloitte — a professional services firm with more than 30,000 employees worldwide — partnered with Simmons to create an executive education program, women represented less than 10 percent of the firm's leaders. Deloitte knew they could do better.
Deloitte chose Simmons because our progressive thinking and expertise about women, leadership, and organizational effectiveness supported their company-wide strategic effort to retain, develop, and advance a greater number of women leaders. Leading Edge, the five-day residential program that we collaboratively designed, helps Deloitte's women partners develop a framework for leadership, assess their leadership potential, and strengthen their leadership, negotiating, and networking skills. Simmons faculty work closely with Deloitte leaders — male and female — to ensure that Leading Edge content supports the firm's current practices and expectations. For example, case studies and exercises are based on actual Deloitte scenarios.
To date, more than 200 Deloitte women have participated in Leading Edge. Alumnae credit the program with increasing their abilities to make focused career decisions and to better negotiate elements that support their overall career success.
"It has to be one of the most rewarding experiences of my career." That high praise for Executive Education at Simmons School of Management comes from Pat Fili-Krushel, Executive Vice President of Administration at Time Warner. Simmons has enjoyed a strategic partnership with Time Warner since 2003, and co-designed Time Warner's Breakthrough Leadership Program. To date, more than 150 vice presidents and senior vice presidents have participated in this program, which provides highly customized leadership development for the company's high-potential women.
"Growing a strong pipeline of talented women leaders is something that I am committed to and feel very passionately about. I actively participate in the Breakthrough Leadership program and find it very rewarding to give back and connect with some of the exceptional women whom I otherwise would not meet," Fili-Krushel said.
Nkem Nwuneli, Manager of People Development at Time Warner, endorses the considerable benefits of Breakthrough Leadership back on the job. "A sense of community continues to grow across our divisions, as Breakthrough alumnae reach out across their divisions to network, collaborate and share vital information." As a result, Nwuneli adds that the company "has launched Time Warner Women's Network and a TWNN website dedicated to providing networking and professional development opportunities for women at the company."
She added, "Developing the world's best talent from the broadest range of people, backgrounds and perspectives is essential to our mission and fundamental to our ability to succeed. We are building an inclusive workforce and culture that draws on the diversity of our people, and the Breakthrough Leadership program is one of the first steps we have taken to create unsurpassed leadership development at Time Warner."