Annual report 2017: 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.

Our five strategic priorities - leading by example; empowering our people; sustainable, profitable growth; delivering exceptional client value and technology enabled - are the backbone of our firm and inform all our decisions and the way we behave. We’re very proud that throughout the past year we’ve received awards and recognition for the work that we’ve been doing which reflect these priorities.  

Leading by example

Leading by example through our approach to workplace gender equality has seen us included on The Times Top 50 Employers for Women 2017 list for the seventh straight year. Gender diversity is an integral part of our firmwide strategy, and our culture, values and the behaviours that underpin them are all built on a foundation of inclusion.

For the second year running, we’ve achieved a prestigious gold rating for our sustainability practices. A rigorous two-month analysis by international rating agency EcoVadis across four areas - environment, fair labour practices, business ethics and supply chains – puts us in the top one percent of all companies evaluated.

Three of our colleagues have been recognised for their significant contributions towards driving diversity and inclusion. Partners Albertha Charles and Paul Cleal feature in the EMpower Top 100 Ethnic Minority Executives, while Manager Dara Kirton features in the Top 30 Ethnic Minority Future Leaders. Both lists are published in the Financial Times to celebrate successful BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) business leaders and rising stars from across the UK, Ireland, the United States and Canada.

Our focus on building an open and inclusive workplace was recognised at the British LGBT Awards - the UK’s most prestigious and publicised lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) event - where we received the prestigious Employer of the Year honour. And we were named British LGBT Awards winner of the ‘Barclays Employer or Company of the Year award’ at the same event.

And our work in actively promoting inclusion and diversity in terms of age, disability, gender, LGBT, faith and religion, and race helped us secure third place in the Inclusive Top 50 (IT50) UK Employers List published in September.  As a progressive employer we make sure that equal opportunities and inclusivity are a key part of our business strategy.

Empowering our people

Our people are our greatest asset and we’ve celebrated with individuals and teams across the UK as their achievements have been recognised over the year.

In Manchester, a team of 10 Virtual Assistants (VA) were recently named ‘PA Team of the Year’ at the industry-renowned Manchester PA Awards. The way we’re working is changing, and our secretarial teams are reimagining the possible to better support our partners and directors. Over the past twelve months our Virtual Assistants have taken up the challenge by working flexible hours to suit the needs of those they support, based mostly from home. For the VAs, the flexibility has made a real difference to how they work, creating a better work life balance around other commitments.

Our Multicultural Business Network was a finalist in the ‘Employee Network Award’ category at the BITC Race Equality Awards 2016. This fosters five main aims: to promote the cultural diversity of the firm and help people become more culturally agile; to demonstrate the commercial benefits of cultural awareness; to build a network across the various existing groups to engage in the topic of cultural diversity; to support minority ethnic professionals with career progression and development at PwC; and to make a positive contribution to the diverse communities where we work and live.

PwC’s commitment to diversity and inclusion was recognised at the UK Diversity Legal Awards where our Legal team won ‘Initiative of the Year’. The judging panel praised the contribution of our Legal team to our diversity agenda, in particular through its active support of our Breakthrough initiative (formerly known as the Women’s Leadership Programme), which provides women in the legal sector and their sponsors with development opportunities, allowing them to enhance their inclusive leadership mindset, skills and behaviours.

Our people are listed as role models in the Financial Times Top 100 list of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) business leaders. The list is compiled in partnership with OUTstanding, a professional membership organisation for global businesses that promotes inclusion in the workplace. Our Consulting partners Mark Gossington and Andy Woodfield, together with Assurance Senior Manager Helen Slinger and Manager Daniel Ricard, have been included in this year’s Future Leaders list.

We’ve once again been named as a top 20 employer on the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index. Stonewall, the leading LGBT rights organisation, has ranked us in 19th place on its 2017 top employers index.

Our Manchester choir celebrated winning the Hallé corporate choir competition, repeating their triumph of three years ago. The competition is run each year by the Hallé concert society and invites choirs in local companies to perform two pieces, supporting them with a choral conductor.

Sustainable, profitable growth

We’re very proud to have won The Times ‘Top 100 Graduate Employer of the Year’ award for the 14th 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 also won The Times ‘Employer of Choice for Accountancy’ and ‘Employer of Choice for Consulting’ awards.

Our Business Recovery Services team won four awards at the Turnaround, Restructuring and Insolvency (TRI) Awards ceremony including ‘Corporate Restructuring Firm of the Year’, ‘International Firm of the Year’, ‘Turnaround of the Year’ (for our work at First Milk, an audit client in Scotland), and ‘Large Corporate Rescue of the Year’.

eFinancialCareers Ideal Employer Rankings 2017 named us an ‘Ideal Employer’. Candidates’ feedback mentioned in particular our solid training and development programmes; opportunities for promotion and being progressive on issues like diversity and CSR.

A survey by online jobs and recruiting site Glassdoor rates us as one of the Best Places to Interview in the UK, ranking us fifth in its annual Candidates’ Choice Awards 2016. We’re the only Big Four firm to make the top 20, with candidates giving us 95% positive feedback for the overall interview experience.

PwC Legal, which became fully integrated into our UK firm in the autumn of 2016, was named ‘Human Resources Law Firm of the Year’ in the Legal 500 Awards for 2017. This accolade covered excellence across three distinct practice areas: Immigration, Employment and Pensions.  And it’s all the more meaningful because The Legal 500 awards differ from other industry accolades as they’re based on anonymous client feedback.

We’ve retained our position as the most valuable professional services brand in this year’s Brand Finance Global Review and overall were ranked as the eighth most powerful brand. Brand strength is calculated by scoring each brand out of 100, based on factors such as familiarity, loyalty, promotion, marketing investment, staff satisfaction and corporate reputation.

Delivering exceptional client value

Our France Business Group was given the French Chamber's Award at the French Chamber of Great Britain's 2016 Franco British Business Awards. This recognises 'a member company that has significantly contributed to the French Chamber over the past year, through its commitment and participation'. We’ve worked closely with the Chamber over the past year, taking part in the French trade delegation to Liverpool, sponsoring the 2016 Annual Franco British Conference ‘Disrupt or be Disrupted’, and contributing expert advice and thought leadership.

Our ground-breaking turn around on African Bank was recognised with the ‘Listed Company Turnaround’ award at the 2016 Institute for Turnaround Awards. The turnaround was the first time a bank has been successfully rescued using ‘curatorship’ - similar to a UK administration - and as a result we were able to save 4,000 jobs.

Our people are also being recognised in an individual capacity.

Barry-John Kelly, our Head of Mid-Tier Transactions for PwC Northern Ireland, was made ‘Dealmaker of the Year’ at the Insider Northern Ireland Dealmakers Awards 2017, for having made a positive impact in the local M&A market. Judges recognised Barry-John’s dealmaking skills as well as his strength in drawing together local advisers on large complex deals.

And Tim Price, who joined us on our graduate programme, won ‘Young Consultant of the Year’ at the Management Consultancies Association (MCA) awards.

Technology enabled

Our aim is to become the leading technology-enabled professional services firm, to benefit our people in the way we work with each other and also to service our clients by using technology in creative and cutting edge ways. So being recognised for delivering innovative and technology-enabled solutions are achievements we’re very proud of.

This year we were named the winners of International Accounting Bulletin’s prestigious ‘Audit Innovation of the Year’ award for Halo, our firm’s data auditing tool. This is a technology platform that allows us to interrogate and analyse large volumes of transactions and helps us to more efficiently and effectively assess risk and focus on items of significance to the audit.

We’ve been leading the debate on the EU Referendum and are delighted that our EU Referendum Hub and interactive Brexit webcast series won the ‘Best digital led campaign’ award at the Corporate Communications Awards.

We were named ‘Pensions Technology Firm of the Year’ at the Pensions Age Awards,  in recognition of our best-in-class pensions technology.  This includes our Skyval platform, PwC’s leading defined benefit pensions analytics tool, as well as our new Savings Lab (previously PING), which we developed to tailor Defined Contribution scheme design.

We’re also working hard to make sure that we use technology in a way that makes us better connected within our own organisation. So we’re proud that our Internal Communications team was given the ‘Best new digital channel’ award by the Institute of Internal Communications for the roll-out of our @PwC platform, recognising the transformation this has made to our internal digital channels.

Click here to explore how what we do brings our strategy to life
Our new strategy filter shows how our strategy has come to life in FY17.
The five key components of our strategy are: delivering exceptional client value; sustainable, profitable growth; empowering our people; technology enabled; leading by example.
This section explores each component individually to highlight the impact our client work has had in creating trust and respect in society to solve important problems.
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