KPMG take action to maximise the diversity of its workforce, ensuring all employees feel included.
Activities to increase socio-economic diversity often focus on outreach and hiring. But KPMG, which has been taking action to maximise the diversity of its workforce for many years, knows that ensuring all employees feel included and have opportunities to progress is just as important.
How people ‘get on’ affects retention and performance: it matters just as much as who ‘gets in’. Recognising the importance of intersectionality, KPMG commissioned extensive research using its own data and qualitative interviews to understand how gender, ethnicity and socio-economic background affect an employee’s progression within the firm. The results have been key to engaging leadership and creating a culture where all staff feel able to flourish. The research identified specific barriers to progression, such as potential bias in the way work and opportunities were allocated, and informed targeted interventions to address these.
More generally, KPMG’s leadership development programme GROW, which has long focussed on maximising the potential of diverse talent, was extended to include individuals from low socio-economic backgrounds. Almost 40% of participants in this programme have promoted by at least one grade.
Work Ready is KPMG’s education programme to reduce geographical disadvantage by increasing skills, confidence and general career aspirations in social mobility coldspots.
Using an algorithm-based tool, the firm targets the most disadvantaged schools and delivers day-long workshops to students in years 9 and 10. Workshops are followed by an extensive support programme, focused on developing listening, speaking, problem solving, creativity, staying positive, aiming high, leadership and teamwork skills. Students are taught how to apply their skills in a professional environment and gain exposure to technological developments via KPMG’s partnerships.
Each year the firm supports 2,000 students. In 2019 it reached its 10,000th young person.