Workplace and diversity

Our goal is to build the iconic professional services firm by delivering distinctive client service through the quality of our people. Inspiring and providing an environment in which all our people can give their best is fundamental to this aim. But we can only achieve it if we create a great place to work and have a culture that's genuinely inclusive and respectful, as well as promoting wellbeing both at work and beyond.

That's why one of our core corporate sustainability objectives is to be a responsible employer; one which develops a diverse pool of talented people creating a high performance culture, and provides the support our people need to create a career which they value and that motivates them.

Our approach

The ability to build and maintain strong relationships is a central part of our brand proposition. We have a long standing commitment to nurture talent from all backgrounds and foster a culture that brings out the best in people. We focus on:

To help us keep on track, we’ve published our long and short term workplace and diversity targets for the first time this year, and have included all of our metrics in our external assurance - see our operational scorecard for details on our performance.

Opportunities and risks

Globalisation is driving continual evolution within the labour market. For example, global mobility has increased enormously in the past 20 years, while off-shore outsourcing has become a common business model.

These changes leave non-diverse employers at risk of alienating potential recruits and clients, while becoming a respectful, inclusive and diverse employer offers many rewards. It makes us distinctive in the marketplace and it helps us to meet the standard requirements set out by government and public sector bodies when we tender for work. It makes us attractive to the best people from the widest talent pools and it helps talented people become and remain engaged employees and partners. Also, diverse teams tackle problems from broad perspectives, leaving us well-placed to innovate and to spot new opportunities.


See our diversity and wellbeing pages for information on these programmes.

Embedding values in our core processes and measurement

All of our people go through an appraisal process every year. As part of this process, we ask them to summarise their achievements for the current financial year against our performance ambitions and global core competencies (GCCs).

We demand empathy, open-mindedness and integrity from all our people. That's why we've embedded these qualities in our performance ambitions and GCCs, making clear to our people the link between developing and honing them and how well we reward them financially.

Promoting these values helps to create an inclusive environment - and helps us attract, retain, and motivate the best people.

We want to make sure our people continue to feel valued. So we survey everyone twice a year, asking them how they feel about working here. This feedback helps us make sure we're giving our people the tools, support and environment they need to thrive.

Standards and policies

Given the importance we place on our people, it should come as no surprise that we seek to meet the standards of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). Nor that we're global signatories to the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) and that we've committed to the compact's ten principles. Our responsible procurement and our health & safety policies document our commitments to our people in this area.

Meanwhile, our Code of Conduct also captures the essence of our approach to human rights and to building a culture of respect and inclusion - by clearly setting out the way we want our people to do business.

External benchmarking

We also challenge ourselves and test how well we're doing through benchmarking and awards. External bodies recognise the progress we've made in this area. That's why we’ve been:

  • placed in The Times Top 50 Employers for Women 2013 and won the Opportunity Now Inclusive Culture award
  • listed as one of the UK’s top 100 employers in Stonewall’s Workplace Equality Index 2013
  • included within ‘The Sunday Times Best 25 Big Companies to Work For’ ranking for the past eight years and this year we were listed as number 11
  • recognised as the UK's most attractive employer of graduate talent, ranking first in The Times 'Top 100 Graduate Employer' survey for the past ten years
  • recognised by Diversity Works for London as a leader in diversity in terms of both our workplace and our suppliers.

And for the second year running, our Chairman has won the Most People Focused CEO, Private Sector in the HR Excellence Awards 2012.

Find out more about our sustainability credentials.