4. Quality education
We're one of the largest graduate recruiters in the UK, and have been voted by students as the UK’s number one graduate employer in The Times Top 100 Graduate Employers for 15 consecutive years. We train hundreds of students to become qualified accountants each year, and facilitate equal access to education for minority groups, women and people from socially disadvantaged backgrounds, both in our workplace and our community work.
Each year, 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. This includes our ‘Flying Start’ degree programme and technology apprenticeships. Our recruitment processes are designed to be open and attractive to people of all backgrounds, and we’ve invested in new tools to reduce unintended bias in recruitment. (Target 4.3)
We publish indicators of social mobility in our non-financial scorecard. In addition to several progressive employment awards, we've been ranked as one of the Top 10 employers in the Social Mobility Employer Index 2018. (Target 4.5)
We run multiple community programmes which focus on raising educational achievement and the employability skills of students in communities where our offices are based. In 2018, we supported more than 10,000 young people to develop workplace skills, as well as providing additional support to students from disadvantaged backgrounds applying to join our summer work experience programmes. (Target 4.4, 4.5)
We've delivered multiple internal sustainability campaigns raising awareness of social and environmental issues, and facilitating behaviour change in areas that have recently included single use plastic consumption, dietary choices and social enterprises. (Target 4.7)
5. Gender equality
Our diverse workforce makes us a better firm. We’re committed to creating an inclusive workplace and culture where everyone can reach their full potential.
We have an extensive diversity and inclusion programme which seeks to drive equality for women in our business. This includes ambitious 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 to help women throughout their careers, including sponsorship, mentoring and coaching. We've banned all-male shortlists for experienced hires, and are also 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 Talent Network offers people a chance to work for the firm without being tied to a full time contract and standard working hours, and our parental leave policies aim to support our people when taking time out of the workplace for caring responsibilities. Similarly, our Back to Business programme is helping senior professional women to restart their career after an extended break. (Target 5.4, 5.5)
We continue to publish our assessment of female economic empowerment across OECD countries in our annual Women in Work Index, and published a report on the gender pay gap in the technology sector. We also ran the Scale-up Female Founders programme, which sought to create commercial opportunities for women running high potential tech companies. (Target 5.5)
Our #WomenInTech initiative is expanding: we co-created the Tech She Can charter, signed by over 50 organisations, which aims to encourage more young women to pursue technology careers. In Belfast, Our Hive Tech Academy promotes STEM subjects to school children and we're founding members of the Inclusive Digital Champions Network. (Target 5.b)
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
As one of the largest professional services firms in the UK, 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 revenue grew 5% in 2018 to £3.76 billion, while we recruited more than 1,250 graduates and school leavers, and more than 2,000 experienced hires. We periodically measure the net financial value to society of our combined economic, tax, social and environmental impacts, and in 2017 this totalled £4.62 billion - 28% more than our revenue that year. (Target 8.1)
Our growth strategy is based around the use of technology to catalyse higher levels of economic productivity. We've developed 'Intelligent Digital', where we balance business understanding with technology innovation and human insight to help our clients and people thrive in the digital revolution - for example, applying artificial intelligence to GDP forecasting, and incorporating machine learning into healthcare record keeping. And, we’ve introduced a Technology Degree Apprenticeship to our Flying Start degree series for students. (Target 8.2, 8.3)
We’ve extended our ‘responsible technology’ approach, showcasing the positive role technology can fulfil in society while mitigating some of the potentially negative impacts. We’re collaborating with the World Economic Forum and Stanford University to explore how the fourth industrial revolution could help solve global environmental issues. And, collaborating with Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), we also published the SDG Investment Case outlining to the investment community the benefits of proactively engaging with the SDGs, and the risks of not doing so. (Target 8.2, 8.4)
We’re founder members of the Buy Social Corporate Challenge, committing ourselves to use our purchasing decisions to support the social enterprise sector in addressing social and environmental issues. Social enterprises have also been central to our community engagement programmes for several years - our UK-wide Social Entrepreneurs’ Club offers training, support, events and resources to 250 social entrepreneurs. (Target 8.3, 8.6)
We set challenging, long term, public targets to decouple our environmental impact from our economic growth, and publish our achievements each year in our Annual Report and non-financial scorecard, and on this website. (Target 8.4)
As set out under Goal 5, we have an extensive diversity and inclusion programme, with transparent reporting against public targets, and were among the first businesses to voluntarily publish both our gender and ethnicity pay gaps. (Target 8.5, 8.6)
We have a programme addressing human rights and modern slavery risks in our operations and supply chain, with 72% of our key suppliers reporting that they have a human rights policy in place in 2018. (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 race, gender or background. We pride ourselves on our approach to diversity and inclusion.
We publish our performance on diversity, ethnicity, and social mobility in our Annual Report and scorecard. We were one of the first businesses to voluntarily publish details of our gender pay gap (2014) and ethnicity gap (2017), both of which have been externally assured. We have robust policies in place to prevent discrimination in the workplace and our Open Mind training, designed to make our people think about the impact of unconscious bias on their relationships, is mandatory for all partners and staff. We were named as one of the UK's Best Employers for Race 2018. (Target 10.2, 10.3)
As part of our five point social mobility action plan, we’re working with over 40 partner schools nationally, focused largely on local authority social mobility coldspots and DfE Opportunity Areas. Our work in Bradford is a key example. We’re also a founder of the Social Mobility Pledge. We ranked sixth out of the top 50 employers in the UK’s Social Mobility Employer Index 2018 and were named Community Programme of the year at the UK Social Mobility Awards 2018. (Target 10.2, 10.3)
As tax advisors, we’re well placed to help governments understand how the tax system might be reformed for greater equality. For example, we’ve run a programme for several years called ‘Paying for Tomorrow’ to collect multi-stakeholder input to develop options for tax reform. And we’ve invested in our Total Tax Contribution (TTC) survey every year since 2005, to inform the debate over how much tax large corporates pay. Additionally, we’ve been working with business, Whitehall and the third sector to encourage the development of new solutions to try to tackle the Poverty Premium. (Target 10.4)
We’ve had an active voice in the debate on executive pay for several years. Together with the London School of Economics and Political Science we’ve published research on attitudes to fairness in reward policies and strategies, and we've given evidence to the House of Commons Select Committee for the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy about corporate governance and executive pay. We also report on executive remuneration in our own business in our Annual Report. (Target 10.4)
Through our leadership of the Climate & Development Knowledge Network (CDKN) over eight years we supported developing countries to deliver climate-compatible development, and continue to support them in international climate change negotiations to secure fair and ambitious outcomes. (Target 10.6)