Annual Report 2018 - Our purpose - Emma Cox

PwC’s purpose is to build trust in society and solve important problems and it’s always really resonated for me because I think of PwC as helping the whole of business thrive and helping the capital markets function and how the work that we do, whether it be in Tax, Assurance, Deals or Consulting, helps build trust in that business.

I have to say I think I’ve got the most amazing job, because it’s a real privilege to be able to think how can we, as a leading professional services firm in the world, use our brand and our reputation to drive impact at scale.

It can sound quite idealistic and it’s certainly ambitious and I’d also say it’s something we’re working on at the moment, and thinking how we embed and bring it really to life across all of the business.

But for me it’s really important that we have a lens by putting purpose at the heart of our strategy, through which to consider why we take on the work that we do and how we deliver that and that we can more and more use it as a lens for that type of decision making.  Both in terms of the work that we do, but also how we run ourselves as a business and how we are a responsible business and hopefully a force for good.

I work on a portfolio of very societally impactful projects, in areas like climate change or women’s economic empowerment and I get the chance to see first-hand the positive impact that my projects have.

I think as we look at purpose across the firm as a whole I’d like everybody to really understand how the work that they do drives a positive impact, and to be able to talk about that and challenge ourselves to achieve more with what we have.

An area of particular focus is technology and the way that technology is disrupting society, the impact of AI and ethics, for example, how we’re working with drones or cyber security.  One that’s close to home for me at the moment is how we’re working with the World Economic Forum on looking at how technologies can help solve some of the world’s biggest environmental problems.

I’ve got big ambitions for purpose and what success might look like, and I think success is quite a tricky term because it isn’t something you start and finish, it’s part of who we are and how we operate as a business in the long term.

We have a wonderful convening power, we can get people together to think about some of the biggest issues that the world is facing and we work with clients who themselves are facing problems that are affecting the way that the whole of society operates and if we think positively about that, we can not only deliver a really great economic return for ourselves and for our clients but we can do that in a way that is sustainable and drives longer term positive change.


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