Relationship Value vs. Relationship Yield: Gender Difference in Business Development Behaviors & Outcomes

Arin N. Reeves
March 2014

Over the last twenty years, we have seen gradual but significant advances in the recruiting, hiring and even promotion of women in professional service industries such as law, accounting and consulting. These advances, however, have not quite reached the uppermost echelons of professional service firms: the highest compensated equity shareholder ranks. In our work with large law, accounting and consulting firms, we consistently find that women are most underrepresented in these shareholder/equity partner ranks. Moreover, when women do make it into these ranks, they tend to be overwhelmingly clustered in the bottom quartile of the compensation levels. What differentiates the progress of women in these firms overall from the progress of women into and within these highest echelons of the firms?