“As practitioners of innovation, we have a strong belief in the power of diversity and the value that diverse teams bring to the workplace.”

Emily Adams

COO and Director, Kalypso LP

Can you tell us a bit about your organization and your role?

Kalypso is a global innovation consulting firm.  We have been helping our clients deliver better results from innovation since 2004.  In my role as COO, I am responsible for our most valuable asset … our people.  From our training and development programs to our robust performance review process, my number one focus is to ensure we are enabling the professional development of our talent as they blossom into stellar client service professionals and thought leaders in the industries we serve.  I am also in client services myself.  As a Director at Kalypso, I lead the delivery of large scale transformation projects.

Why is diversity, and specifically the advancement of women, so important to your organization?

As practitioners of innovation, we have a strong belief in the power of diversity and the value that diverse teams bring to the workplace.  In most cases, we have found that solving women’s issues directly correlates to solving people issues more broadly.  The consulting industry certainly has its own unique challenges regarding retention of women.  It requires disrupting the traditional consulting business model and taking innovative approaches to consider and solve for that.  Some approaches that we have seen work for us are more flexible travel, temporary time in non-client services after maternity leave, and frankly listening to what the women of the firm need to be successful.  We keep listening and adjusting.

Which diversity initiatives do you have in your organization?

Kalypso as a firm has a strong grassroots culture, and the emergence of diversity initiatives in our organization has been very much in line with this premise.  Our internal initiatives have derived from the passion of individuals who have then recruited others, as well as sponsors, to support the cause.  Our global Women in Innovation (WIN) group has expanded to support diversity and inclusion more holistically.  Our Women in Technology (WIT) group is based out of our technical center in Monterrey, Mexico and hosts an annual conference that is fully organized and executed by our young professionals in that office.  Each year I am more and more impressed with what these groups accomplish.

What role does the LEAD Network play in reaching your organization’s diversity goals?

The LEAD Network provides an opportunity for our leaders and future leaders to network with other women, and to make connections that could offer ideas and support outside of the firm.  Sometimes just hearing how other women have manoeuvred through various career and life events, balancing it all while managing trade-offs, can provide necessary encouragement through realization that others have successfully navigated through similar challenges.

What would you like your employees to take away from the LEAD Network?

Inspiration, and an opportunity to inspire others.