New Statistics on Diversity and People in Management Consultancy Profession Revealed in the Latest MCA Annual Industry Report 2019

The Management Consultancies Association (MCA) has published for the first-time cross sector information on the people employed in consulting across the UK as firms drive huge efforts to improve diversity and inclusivity and attract the best of talent from all backgrounds. Figures show 1 in 5 of management consultants employed by Member firms are BAME, higher than the national average of 14% and 40% of management consultants in the sector are women.

1. Data from the Annual Industry survey shows that 18% of management consultants at MCA member firms had social mobility characteristics (i.e. come from a lower social economic backgrounds). The MCA has also found there has been a steep decline in new consultants being recruited from Oxbridge universities

2. This demonstrates the way the industry is focusing its attention on recruiting talent from a variety of background to ensure it is attracting the best people to meet all their client’s diverse needs.  

The report also revealed that members of the MCA support over 30,300 jobs across the UK with an estimated 60,600 working in the sectoras a whole. Apprenticeships play an important part in recruiting top young talent across the consulting sector last year a record 580 trainees, apprentices and school leavers were recruited by MCA members. At the same time, 1,214 graduates entered the industry in the same year. Overall the amount members spent on staff development and training in 2018 was in excess of £87.5m. 

Tamzen Isacsson, Chief Executive, MCA, said: 

Talent is the future of our industry and huge investments are being made by the sector to train and develop staff as well as attract and keep the very best people from all backgrounds. Overall the sector is making progress with significant efforts already delivering results at junior levels but there is still work to do and our members are fully committed to making change and creating more inclusive and flexible environments.”  

The MCA’s Annual Industry Report 2019 provides an unrivalled assessment of the performance of the leading consulting firms in the UK which are part of the trade body the Management Consultancies Association. The report examines fee income data provided by member firms over recent years to identify the size, diversity, and growth trajectory of consulting activity of MCA members, as well as the wider consulting industry. Independent market research agency Savanta, partnered with the MCA to collect and analyse industry data for the 2019 report.  

Anne-Marie Malley, Managing Partner for UK Consulting, Deloitte, commented:  

Overall, we are making progress, but as a sector we still have work to do to improve diversity across the consulting industry. While we are making significant strides at junior levels, at the current pace of change it will take a few years for this to rise up into partner level across the sector. It’s pivotal that businesses have mandates in place to improve diversity in leadership teams, in all areas, to achieve change.” 

Diversity is a major focus for MCA member firms who are making significant improvements at junior levels with some firms employing more than 50% women at an entry levelAt partner level the number of women represented is 23% and here again companies are investing significant time and effort to create greater balance and many major firms have made significant announcements in this areaOn BAME whilst the overall figure for management consultants is positive and above the national average at partner level this dips to 8% and firms are determinedly seeking to ensure that more young consultants have more BAME role models in senior positions. 

Lucinda Peniston Baines, Founder and Managing Partner of The Observatory International, and Vice President of the MCA, said: 

My perception is that there is a very strong and well-intentioned drive to rebalance an unbalanced industry. There is a genuine sense of direction of travel, particularly when you look at the larger members who want to make it a reality. Clearly, we’re not there yet and it is going to take time, but the larger firms are showing leadership and setting the tone which is a positive thing. 

The MCA’s Annual Industry Report 2019 provides an unrivalled assessment of the performance of the leading consulting firms in the UK which are part of the trade body the Management Consultancies Association. The report examines fee income data provided by member firms over recent years to identify the size, diversity, and growth trajectory of consulting activity of MCA members, as well as the wider consulting industry. Market research agency Savanta, partnered with the MCA to collect and analyse industry data for the 2019 report.  

— ENDS —   

Notes to Editors 

  1.  57% are men and 3% are other or prefer not to say
  2. In a recent MCA members survey, the number of young consultants attending Russell Group and Oxbridge universities has also declined over the past years from 78% for Russell Group in 2011 to 54% in 2018. 

Media Contact: 

Caroline Florence (Caroline.florence@mca.org.uk /Tel: 0207 645 7959) Jasmine Knight (Jasmine.Knight@mca.org.uk/Tel: 0207 645 7958) 

The Management Consultancies Association (MCA): 

The MCA is the representative body for the UK’s leading management consulting firms. For over 60 years, the MCA has been the voice of the consulting industry, promoting the value of consulting to business, the public sector, media commentators and the general public. The MCA’s mission is to promote the value of management consultancy for the economy and society as a whole. The MCA’s member companies comprise over 50% of the UK consulting industry work with over 90 of the top FTSE 100 companies and almost all parts of the public sector. The UK consulting industry is amongst the best in the world and a vital part of the business landscape. Click to see the full list of current MCA members.  

Compliance with the MCA’s tough entry criteria and adherence to the principles of Consulting Excellence means that MCA member companies are widely acknowledged to provide high quality services to their clients. Many of their achievements are recognised in the annual MCA Awards. 

The report findings are based on data collected from the MCA membership, and supported by expert commentary provided by leading consultants.  

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