Nicole Rife is a senior manager at Jabian and one of the leaders of Jabian Women’s Affinity Group (JWAG). In celebration of Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day, we sat down with Nicole to chat about her role with JWAG and some advice for women starting out in consulting.

Q: What is your role within JWAG?

A: I co-lead JWAG with Stephanie Noland, and we are responsible for developing programming that promotes inclusion and provides a support network for women at Jabian.

Q: How does JWAG work as a team to ensure equal opportunities at all career levels at Jabian?

A: JWAG regularly partners with the other Jabian Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) to ensure that the employees we support are considered in important decisions on topics including HR policy, training, recruiting, and marketing, to name a few.

Q: How can men get more involved to promote gender equality?

A: I think one of the best ways that men can get involved in promoting gender equality is through mentorship and advocacy/sponsorship of their female colleagues. Men often hold a higher percentage of leadership roles and are in a position to make a significant impact on a woman’s career through their sponsorship. Affinity bias can cause us all to gravitate toward people who are similar to ourselves so it may take more intentionality to build diverse mentor/mentee relationships.

Q: What advice would you give to young women who want to start a career in consulting?

A: Even though you may not see as much female representation in consulting as you do in other industries, it’s a rewarding career path that offers growth in many forms. Try to find firms that have been able to retain and promote women to leadership roles. Fortunately, firms are more commonly publishing DEI statistics which will help you find that information. Networking with employees (women and men) at your target firms can help you better understand their culture and what to expect.

Q: What is your proudest accomplishment – personal or professional?

A: My proudest accomplishment has been building and maintaining friendships throughout my career. I’ve met some of my best friends through work!