Annual report 2016: Our awards

Participating in awards and indices is a good way for us to benchmark our performance and gain valuable feedback from third parties so that we can continue to improve. 

Being a progressive employer

We’re delighted to have been named Most Inclusive Employer of the Year at the European Diversity Awards which recognise organisations that have made an outstanding contribution to equality, diversity and inclusion.

As a progressive employer we make sure that equal opportunities and inclusivity are a key part of our business strategy. 

This year, we’re pleased to have been recognised for our progressive employment practices by a number of organisations – from charities to key media outlets.

Stonewall, the leading LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) rights organisation, has ranked us in 11th place in its 2016 Top 100 Employers Index - an annual audit of workplace culture for LGBT staff. 

In addition our inclusive business network, GLEE (gay, lesbian and everyone else) has been highly commended by Stonewall for its contribution to LGBT equality and inclusion. 

We’ve been recognised as a leader in workplace gender equality by being included in The Times Top 50 Employers for Women 2016. The unranked list, which includes public and private sector employers and organisations, is published in The Times in partnership with Business in the Community.

Organisations are reviewed on what they’re doing internally and externally to promote gender equality, create opportunities for women in a wider context, and drive culture change.

Each year we also participate in the BITC annual benchmarking which is the UK’s most comprehensive gender and race benchmark, recognising advances being made by organisations in creating an inclusive workplace. We have been awarded platinum status for gender equality and gold status for race equality. 

Professional Employ, our gateway to professional services programme, was chosen as City Gateway’s Apprentice Programme of the Year. The scheme, run jointly with law firm Dentons, prepares young people for a career in professional services.

Being an employer of choice

We’re The Times Top 100 Graduate Employer of the Year for a record-breaking 13th consecutive year.

The award came after interviews with more than 18,000 final year students at Britain’s top thirty universities identified us as offering the best opportunities for graduates. 

The list is the definitive annual guide to the country’s most sought-after and prestigious employers of graduates. Each graduate is asked the open-ended question: "Which employer do you think offers the best opportunities for graduates?"

We’re the only employer to win the award 13 years in a row – we also won the accountancy sector award for the 17th consecutive year, and the consulting sector award for the third.

The Government has also presented us with a gold award for our commitment to supporting the Armed Forces. 

The Armed Forces Covenant Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) recognises employers who actively support defence personnel. 

These awards and recognitions aren’t about giving us a pat on the back – it’s a way for us to make sure that we’re on track with our people strategy.

Being a responsible business

In 2016, our responsible business practices have been recognised in a variety of ways. 

For example, we’ve held the highest rank in the BITC Corporate Responsibility Index for several years, and this year achieved the full five stars again, with a score of 99%. We were one of only four businesses, and the only professional services firm to do so.

We also received a platinum rating in the Business in the Community Environment index and retained their Community Mark this year, too.

Putting our strategy into practice also entails taking responsibility for the business impacts in our supply chain.

So we were delighted to achieve the Carbon Trust Supply Chain Standard in recognition for our responsible procurement practices, making us one of the first seven companies to achieve this new award, and the first professional services firm to achieve certification to all four Carbon Trust Standards (energy, water, waste and supply chain).

In addition, we’ve been an accredited UK Living Wage Employer for many years. This ensures that we are paying a reasonable salary to all of our staff, including those of our suppliers who work permanently at our sites across the UK.

We also hold a Gold rating from EcoVadis – another independent organisation that rates businesses on their overall sustainability.

Being transparent

In 2015, we made a significant change to the way we report our performance – with the launch of our first digital only UK Annual Report. As a result, our innovative fully digital approach scooped several awards. 

Our 2015 Annual Report was named Blue Chip Annual Report of the Year by the Business Finance Awards and was held up as a ‘game changer’ by judges. 

They applauded our decision to integrate sustainability content into it, as well as to align it with content from our Transparency report – to paint a more complete picture of our performance. 

We also wanted to challenge the way we, and in turn, our clients and regulators think about corporate reporting by using video, infographics and data explorers to tell the story of our year. 

The report also scored the Global Equality and Diversity Transparency Award and the Better Society Award for Transparent Reporting of the Year

But the awards we’ve won only tell part of the story of our year. You can find out more about how we strive to do the right thing by our clients, our people and our business by visiting our People, Corporate Impact and Data sections of this report.   

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