We are an aspirational organization, never satisfied with the status quo. We want to change the world for both our social sector and our commercial clients. This is part of who we are as a firm.
There are many ways to make a living; BCG’s Social Impact practice gives you the opportunity to make a difference.
More than 50 years ago, our founder, Bruce Henderson, inspired us to put forth ideas that would change the world. Today, we remain deeply committed to using our talents and resources to address global challenges and focus on topics that have an impact on some of the most underprivileged in society.
To maximize such efforts, we work with social, public, and private sector clients to reach the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) across topics such as development, health, education, employment, and the environment, and we foster long-term relationships with our global social impact partners: the World Food Programme, Save the Children, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Yunus Social Business, WWF, and Teach For All. We also work with our corporate clients to make social impact an integral part of their business strategy, mobilizing the companies to create innovations that deliver solutions to the world’s biggest societal challenges.
From reversing child mortality rates in Africa to advancing education in local communities, our social impact projects enable us to give back while also gaining valuable perspective on prominent issues, such as water stewardship and the global burden of disease, which will affect both our clients and the world for years to come.
We consider social impact to be an integral part of our firm, therefore we pride ourselves on making opportunities available to all consultants. About 10% of our worldwide staff participate in approximately 300 social impact projects per year. Consultants can also apply to participate in our social impact immersion and secondment programs or take leaves of absence to work at social sector organizations of their choice.
Just as we challenge established thinking and drive transformation in the private and social sectors, that same skill set and thought leadership allow us to make a positive impact within the public sector. In June 2015, BCG launched the Centre for Public Impact (CPI), a not-for-profit foundation dedicated to improving the positive impact of governments around the world. It brings together world leaders to learn, exchange ideas, and inspire each other to strengthen the public impact of their organizations.
Serving the communities in which we live and work is a core BCG value. In addition to working with organizations in the public and social sectors, we foster an atmosphere across the firm that values social impact both during and outside of the work day. Many local offices organize community service days and volunteer activities open to all BCG staff, participating in mentoring and tutoring, clothing and food drives, awareness campaigns, and much more. We also encourage employees to leverage the skills honed at BCG by serving as board members for the nonprofit organizations about which they're personally passionate.
When you work at BCG, you are a part of a shared mission. Dedication to social impact is a foundational element of who we are as a firm.
The opportunity to work on secondment with an international NGO has been the single most valuable offering of my BCG career. This experience has not only furthered my career, but has left me with a feeling of unspeakable personal gain. BCG's investment to support this work has affirmed its commitment in me and my ambitions.
I have been able to participate and lead teams for social impact projects, which have been highly inspirational in my professional life. BCG's support of global conservation of the environment gives me a great sense of pride and accomplishment. BCG helps me rally and motivate our office community to create a greater impact on the world.
I have been and continue to be inspired by the social impact work done by BCG employees at every level and in every department of the organization. Through work with our social impact partner organizations, office-wide Community Service days, or smaller events where a group of 5-6 employees can help at local organizations, I see our people and our firm making a difference every day. There is enthusiasm, commitment, hard work, and pride in what we are accomplishing in the community. Social impact work is a strong value and priority for BCG, and I am proud to be part of it!
In the fall of 2014, I was privileged to have the opportunity to support Save the Children’s Ebola response. The rapid response tested the limits of the project management tools available to coordinate such a large effort, which spanned the three affected countries (Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea) and hundreds of individuals deployed. Being able to contribute by customizing for-profit tools to meet the needs of the dynamic nature of the response was very rewarding, and I learned so much.
Through BCG I was able to truly contribute to changing the world, having the opportunity to working closely with world leaders of social impact.
I've had the pleasure of working on a multitude of social impact projects. Not only do you get to solve problems you thought you'd never come across, but it is also for the good of nature or humanity. That is when you wake up in the morning with a smile and desire to do more, do better, to create more impact for us all.
BCGers participate in a wide range of social impact projects around the world, and many of them have written LinkedIn posts about their experiences—how they were changed and how they helped to make change. Here are some examples of recent blogs:
Franz, a consultant based in Zurich, tells the story of his experience volunteering at a refugee camp in Greece, including trying to create some sense of normalcy in the lives of people he met.
Lauren's work has brought her a passion for providing education to people in times of emergencies, when life-saving aid is a priority. A consultant based in Chicago, Lauren says that when "sudden onset emergencies are prolonged, education for the children and youth in these crises is critical to preventing a 'lost generation.'"
Consultant Sarah Burns, based in Washington DC, discusses her experience on a project that supported the global Zika response, through which she learned that the human and economic costs imposed by Zika, dengue, or other diseases carried by the Aedes aegypti mosquito are unlikely to disappear anytime soon.
Ryan, a Chicago-based consultant, explains why it's crucial for companies to offer family leave—not just maternity leave—and how a successful program for dads requires making it paid, making it flexible, and making it the norm.
Trish, a partner and managing director based in Washington DC, shares insights about the advantages of paid family leave. Companies that offer the benefit see returns in the form of improved retention, morale, and productivity—and can reinforce their values both internally and externally.
Principal Adrien Portafaix, based in Paris, explains how urgent action is required to address the issues caused by lack of water in South Africa—and how BCG's work with the WWF is attempting to map out a path toward a water-secure future for the region.