4. Quality education
We’re one of the largest recruiters of graduates in the UK, and train hundreds of students to become qualified accountants each year. We proactively promote equal access for minority groups, women and people from socially disadvantaged backgrounds, as well as encouraging awareness of social and environmental issues.
- For example, we provide thousands of opportunities for school leavers and students of all backgrounds to learn more about business and to apply to work with us, providing many ways to access the profession, including apprenticeships. (Target 4.3)
- We publish indicators of social mobility in our Annual Report, and are pleased to have been recognised for our progressive employment practices by several organisations. (Target 4.5)
- We also run multiple community programmes which focus on raising educational achievement and employability skills of students in the communities where our offices are based. In 2017 we supported more than 8,300 young people to develop workplace skills. (Target 4.4, 4.5)
- And, we developed an online, interactive training module, featuring some of our clients, to build a sustainability mindset across the firm. Over 90% of our people completed the course when it launched, and it won awards from both the sustainability network 2degrees and e-learning age in 2014. (Target 4.7)
5. Gender equality
Diversity is a mainstay of our business success, so there’s a natural fit with Goal 5.
- We have an extensive diversity and inclusion programme which seeks to drive equality for women in our business: this includes public targets for gender at each grade, transparency around our gender pay gap - which we were one of the first businesses to disclose - and multiple programmes (including sponsorship, mentoring and coaching) to help women throughout their careers, in particular in returning from maternity. Further, we’re signatories of the United Nation’s HeForShe campaign to engage men as agents of change for gender equality. (Target 5.1, 5.5)
- Our flexible working policy, which includes shared parental leave, aims to help our people to create a working environment that accommodates their priorities outside of work. (Target 5.4).
- We publish the Women in Work Index each year, and moderated the ‘Where are the Executive Women?’ event jointly organised by PwC and the European Women’s Lobby. (Target 5.5).
- We’ve also established a Women in Technology programme initiative to attract more female talent into technology careers. As part of this we’ve held events at the Science Museum in London for school girls and business leaders, and have published a report on the gender gap in the technology sector. (Target 5b)
- Our client work includes engagements to help empower women and girls including DFID’s Girls Education Challenge, which improves education opportunities for marginalised girls in some of the world’s poorest countries; and supporting the development of partnerships between the government and the private sector to improve education for girls, such as the Coca Cola 5by20 initiative. (Target 5.c)
8. Decent work and economic growth
The size of the professional services sector in the UK, as well as our role in helping clients of all sizes and in all sectors to grow, makes this one of our most significant areas of positive contribution.
- Our revenues grew 5% in 2017 to £3.6 billion, while we recruited more than 1,500 graduates and school leavers, and more than 1,300 experienced hires. The net financial value to society of our combined economic, tax, social and environmental impacts grew by 2% to £4.62 billion - which is 28% more than our revenues. (Target 8.1)
- Our growth strategy is founded on greater deployment of technology and helping our clients to do the same, to catalyse higher levels of economic productivity. And we’ve introduced a Technology Degree Apprenticeship to our Flying Start degree series for students. (Target 8.2)
- We’ve developed a ‘responsible technology’ approach to help showcase the positive role of technology, while mitigating potentially adverse social, ethical, and environmental concerns across our supply chain, operations, people agenda and client work. We shared this with the UN and many other stakeholders at the AI for Good conference about how technology can be used to help deliver the SDGs. (Target 8.2, 8.4)
- We’ve also supported social enterprise for several years through our community engagement programmes. Our UK-wide Social Entrepreneurs’ Club offers our skills and resources to 250 social enterprises. In 2016, we also joined the Buy Social Corporate Challenge as a founding member, committing ourselves to increasing the amount that we buy from small businesses that address social and environmental issues. (Target 8.3)
- We set challenging, long term, public targets to decouple our environmental impact from our economic growth, and have published our achievements in both operational and financial terms each year. (Target 8.4)
- We run an extensive diversity and inclusion programme, with transparent reporting against public targets. And we publish the Young Workers Index, focusing in 2017 on the implications of an increasingly automated workplace for young workers. (Target 8.5, 8.6)
- We have a programme addressing human rights and modern slavery risks in our operations (including those offshore), and in our supply chain, with 66% of our key suppliers reporting that they have a human rights policy in place in 2017. (Target 8.7, 8.8)
10. Reduced inequalities
In a diverse and competitive world, we need to make sure that we can bring the best talent to our clients, regardless of characteristics such as race, gender or social background. We pride ourselves on our approach to diversity and inclusion in our workforce, and use our work to help reduce global inequalities and imbalances, where possible.
- To encourage transparency, we publish our performance against grade pool targets for diversity and ethnicity, alongside indicators of social mobility for our graduates, in our Annual Report. We were one of the first businesses to voluntarily publish details of our gender pay gap (2014) and ethnicity gap (2017). Our Open Mind training is mandatory for all partners and staff. It’s designed to make our people think about the impact of unconscious bias on their relationships. And we have robust policies in place to prevent discrimination in the workplace. (Target 10.2, 10.3)
- We’ve established a new social mobility team with a five-year strategy and ambitious targets. We’re working with over 40 partner schools nationally, focused largely on local authority social mobility coldspots identified by the Social Mobility Commission, and DfE Opportunity Areas. We ranked seventh out of the top 50 employers in the UK’s first Social Mobility Employer Index, and were also the headline sponsors of the UK’s first Social Mobility Awards. (Target 10.2, 10.3)
- As tax advisors and experts, we’re well placed to help governments understand how the national and global tax system might be reformed for greater equality. For example, we’ve invested in an annual Total Tax Contribution (TTC) survey every year since 2005, to provide robust data to inform the debate over how much tax large corporates pay in the UK. And we’ve run a programme for several years called ‘Paying for Tomorrow’ to collect multi-stakeholder input to develop options for tax reform. (Target 10.4)
- We monitor and report on executive remuneration in our business, and have given evidence to the House of Commons Select Committee for the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy about corporate governance and executive pay. (Target 10.4)
- Through our leadership of the Climate Development Knowledge Network (CDKN) we play a key role in helping developing countries address climate change in line with efforts to reduce poverty, through providing research, technical assistance, knowledge management and negotiations support. (Target 10.6)