McGroarty & Co

McGroarty & Co: Consulting with companies to help bring gender equity to their workforces

Just shy of her 30th birthday, Alexandra McGroarty landed a dream job at her professional-services consulting firm. She was excited to be promoted to the company’s inner circle as vice president of global human resources. Then reality set in.

“The executive team was mostly middle-aged men. Also, I was managing both men and women who had more experience than me,” says McGroarty. “I almost immediately fell into a pattern of interviewing for a job I already had.”

The story of how she learned to stop doubting herself unfolds in her new book, “Bridging the Gap – Reducing Gender Bias in the Workplace.” She draws upon her extensive HR experience, personal story and the latest research to provide a roadmap for improving culture in a wide range of organizations.

Gender equity is a topic she’s been called to address frequently as a managing partner at McGroarty & Co Consulting, the Mt. Laurel-based firm she founded with her late husband Michael during the pandemic.

“It really took learning about who I was as a person to combat imposter syndrome,” says McGroarty, who worked through those issues while gaining valuable skills implementing engagement, retention and diversity measures for local, national and international businesses.

McGroarty, who holds a Certified Diversity Professional certification from the National Diversity Council and is currently pursuing a D.SL in strategic leadership, says more and more companies are motivated to address gender equity as a result of the pandemic, when many working mothers left the workforce or lost ground while taking care of domestic issues, including managing the education of their homebound children.

“Those experiences really brought gender inequity into focus,” she says. “Companies realized they have to do better. If you don’t have diverse employees, you don’t have diversity of thought. If you hire a bunch of people who think like you do, you won’t be able to make the progress you need in the business world.”

As the mother of young children, now 5 and 7, McGroarty lived the experience. “Michael and I founded our company while working through the pandemic on our couch in the basement. We were so burned out. We looked at each other and realized we wanted to go into business for ourselves. Yes, the thought of leaving our jobs was scary but we took it on as a side project. Michael left his job in contracting first to start the firm and I stayed on for another 6 months. Unfortunately he passed away unexpectedly last year, but there was never a question that I’d carry on.”

The company honors Michael’s memory every day, she adds, noting that the firm has a donor relationship with YMCA of Greater Philadelphia, helping to develop and expand teen technology programs.

While the firm has both domestic and international clients, McGroarty says it has strong ties to local companies. “We know the area so well so we really know our clients’ needs,” she says. “Also we act like a big firm, but we have those small company values.”

She adds that local companies familiar with the book have sought her out to help with diversity goals. And it’s not just for the HR staff. “It’s for anybody who wants to learn a bit more about gender equity and what’s going on in gender studies today,” she says. “It can help women overcome some of the gender bias issues or, for men, give lessons on being a great supporter or mentor to someone in your workforce or life.”

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