Lynne Doughtie - KPMG
Lynne M. Doughtie currently serves as KPMG LLP’s Vice Chair-Advisory and leads the Americas Advisory business. During her 26-year career with KPMG, Lynne has held a variety of leadership positions, most recently as Advisory national managing partner, and has served as KPMG International’s Global Advisory Clients & Sectors Leader.
Lynne has been named one of Consulting Magazine’s “Top 25 Consultants” and “Top Women Leaders in Consulting,” and been featured in Diversity Journal’s “Women Worth Watching” and in Accounting Today’s “ Women in Accounting.”
Why do you believe STEM Education and Workforce are important to our nation?
When you look at the areas where companies are really innovating and investing in their future, overwhelmingly you see that STEM skills and experience are at the core. At KPMG we work closely with many of the world’s leading organizations, most of whom are pursuing some form of transformation to better position their business in a new and quickly shifting environment.
In diverse fields such as energy, transportation, healthcare, telecom and retail, we see common approaches to these transformations. The key skills necessary to execute the changes and manage the new transformed organization are more often than not STEM related. As a business or a nation looking to lead in the future, having a workforce with these crucial skills and experiences will absolutely be imperative.
What about STEM gives you passion?
I see the huge and growing demand for people with strong STEM skills and understand well the challenges in expanding this crucial segment of our workforce. Addressing this through a broad approach, bringing together business executives, educators, government officials, technology experts, philanthropists and community leaders, is the only way to really build the pipeline of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics leaders we need to compete in the future.
It’s a multi-faceted problem, because so many issues must be addressed, such as how to engage students, to determining how educators, job creators, and skill sets can be aligned - the potential payoff is well worth the effort.
How is your company innovating to promote STEM?
KPMG actively participates in programs supporting “workforce readiness” which provide students the opportunity to learn directly from KPMG professionals who visit predominately urban schools to talk about careers in professional services. Our people meet with students in small groups to discuss issues in the profession and why we find our jobs satisfying and rewarding.
KPMG works with the National Academy Foundation (NAF), a national network of high school career academies that offer courses guided by both industry practitioners and educators. KPMG consults with the NAF on the accounting curriculum and supports the courses to ensure that they’re relevant to the “real-world” experiences students will face.
What is your concept of mentoring and sponsorship of others for STEM careers?
Mentoring relationships are strongly emphasized at KPMG, with more than half of our partners and professionals involved in formalized mentoring arrangements. It’s important to recognize the difference between mentors and sponsors. Mentors can play a valuable role in providing career advice and guidance. But sponsors can be absolutely critical to getting ahead—typically they are leaders in the organization who can provide greater visibility and serve as advocates when key opportunities arise.
Too often women select other women as mentors because they find them easier to talk to. Women need to ensure they have a mentor or sponsor in a leadership position who can help open doors and provide entrée to others on the leadership team. Particularly in STEM-related professions that may have a history of mostly male leadership, actively engaging with those in power can be the difference between hitting, or breaking through, the glass ceiling.