Best Places to Work in IT 2010 Employer Profile

No. 72

Grant Thornton LLP

Chicago [North Central]

Why you want to work there

Fun is serious business at this Chicago-based accounting firm. To build IT staff morale, the Employee Engagement Committee, a group of volunteers who represent all IT divisions and interests, organizes social activities throughout the year. Last year, IT employees at headquarters celebrated Valentine's Day by sending one another "Candy-spam" lollipops via interoffice mail, purchasing the lollipops with $1 donations to charity. And they marked Earth Day with an organic pizza party and an office clean-out hour. People who wanted to clean out their homes as well could do so as part of the company's "Freecycle" event. Other team-building activities included a gingerbread-house-building contest, the 2009 Crazy Hawaiian Shirt Day contest, a Thanksgiving potluck lunch and a kickball tournament. New this year: IT now holds quick departmentwide get-togethers each month to share strategy updates and report department news. Called TT3 meetings (because they take place on the third Thursday of the month at 3 p.m.), these sessions are typically 30-minute conference calls led by a member of the IT leadership team. The IT Leadership Council, which was formed in 2009, meets monthly to review the progress IT is making on its strategic initiatives for the year. Grant Thornton has a self-serve professional development system through which employees self-register for internal and external training programs and then record their participation in educational activities in a learning credit database, which is used to track the progress individuals make in the firm's "40-hour Annual Training Challenge."

Rank by company size:
Medium, No. 20

Employee Statistics

Total U.S.-based employees: 5,412

Total U.S.-based IT employees: 166

IT employee turnover in 2009: 12%

IT promotions in 2009: 0%


Training days offered per IT employee in 2009: 5

Training budget per IT employee in 2009: $2,000

Women in IT

Total percentage of women within IT: 30%

Percentage of IT managers who are women: 42%

Percentage of IT staffers (non-managers) who are women: 27%

Minorities in IT

Total percentage of minorities within IT: 27%

Percentage of IT managers who are minorities: 13%

Percentage of IT staffers (non-managers) who are minorities: 31%