Analysis Group Honored as Top Massachusetts Women-Led Business Eighth Consecutive Year

By Jemima McEvoy Saturday, November 28, 2020

For the eighth year in a row, Analysis Group has been recognized among the Boston Globe Magazine and Commonwealth Institute’s prestigious list of the “Top 100 Women-Led Businesses in Massachusetts.” Making the list once is an honor, but eight times? Well, that’s something else. So what exactly is Analysis Group doing to keep its name in the ranking?

What Does Analysis Group Do?

Analysis Group is one of the largest international economics consulting firms in the country. It dates back to 1981 when it was founded by economists Bruce E. Strangle and Michael F. Koehn. The firm, which is headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts, provides economic, financial, and strategic analysis to top law firms, Fortune Global 500 companies, and government agencies across the globe.

Though the company itself is old, it keeps up-to-date with ever-changing workplace trends and standards. Its 1,000 professionals — a majority of whom boast advanced degrees and expertise in subjects like economics, law, finance, accounting, and business — enjoy what is considered by several metrics to be one of the state’s best places to work. In addition to the Boston Globe’s ranking, Glassdoor.com and Valut.com also name Analysis Group as a top working environment. On Indeed.com, a website where employees are able to review companies, Analysis Group is ranked exceptionally high for job security & advancement, pay & benefits, management, and culture.

“The company’s excellent reputation for quality analyses is based on a culture of perfectionism,” writes one reviewer. “The atmosphere is collegial and friendly, but intense. Workload and expectations are very high.”

This may explain why Analysis Group is generally a great place to work, but what makes it so great for women? Well, one factor may be the woman in charge. Martha S. Samuelson is the current chairman and CEO of Analysis group; she has been at the company since 1992 and began serving as co-CEO six years later and then president and CEO in 2004. Samuelson, an alumna of Yale, MIT, and Harvard Law School, is an expert in antitrust, finance, and valuation with decades of experience.

On a fundamental level, having a woman at the helm is inspiring to many women in a company who can then better visualize themselves as successful leaders. Gender disparities in many top businesses have been attributed to this phenomenon: just 4.9% of Fortune 500 CEOs and 2% of S&P 500 CEOs are women.

“There are of course factors that contribute to this dearth of women at senior levels,” explains a 2019 Harvard Business Review article. “For centuries, there have been broad, cultural biases against women and stereotypes die slowly. People have long believed that many women elect not to aspire to the highest ranks of the organization and take themselves out of the running…Lots of research has shown that unconscious bias places a significant role in hiring and promotion decisions.”

This doesn’t seem to be the case at Analysis Group, where over 50% of the firm’s employees are female — including 40% of upper management. According to a company news release, it’s this workplace diversity, in addition to the company’s revenue/operating budget, the number of full-time employees in the state, and innovative work, that earned it a place in this year’s Boston Globe ranking.

Despite persistent barriers and biases that still prevent some women from seeking leadership positions, the Harvard Business Review points out that women actually score higher than men in most leadership skills. Analysis of thousands of comprehensive assessments found that women excelled in taking initiative, acting with resilience, practicing self-development, pursuing results, and displaying characteristics like integrity and honesty. Women were found to be more effective in 84% of the competencies, falling behind men in just two categories: developing strategic perspective and technical/professional expertise.

Obviously, each company and each leader is different, but success stories like Analysis Group’s help to combat these antiquated narratives that still seem to seep through the surface. In a 2010 interview with The New York Times, Samuelson gave some insight into her management style.

“You have to be very careful about what you measure, because you start managing by focusing on what you measure. I think about that in terms of five-year plans and things like that. I’m often asked, ‘What’s the five-year plan for the company?’ or ‘Where are you going to open the next office?’ We don’t run the firm that way,” she said. “The most important thing is to hire the right people and develop the right people. Once you start managing around growing a certain amount or opening an office in a new city, you may hire the wrong person or put the person in a position they’re not ready for.

About the Author


Headshot for author Jemima McEvoy

Jemima is a journalist who enjoys reporting on business, particularly small business and entrepreneurship.

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