People and Leadership
PwC Consulting had made considerable progress on its journey to achieve its D&I ambitions, but was impatient to satisfy them fully. In particular, the firm was aware it had more to do in the advancement of racial equality; they needed to create a working environment where everyone felt they could thrive in their careers irrespective of their ethnic background.
PwC therefore devised and launched a plan, at the start 2020, to help them accelerate their D&I journey, both in terms of improving senior level representation and in acknowledging that they will continue to improve as they evolve as an organisation. They dived deep into statistical analysis, and committed to publish their five-year D&I targets for ethnicity and gender by grade of employee. They had already broken new ground in the professional services world by publishing ethnicity pay gap data, but decided to deepen the analysis of the gaps to better target interventions to the different minority ethnic groups. They also established new fora and mechanisms to provide spaces for ethnicity conversations within everyday exchanges.
The plan built on what they’d seen working previously, but improved the pace, strength of intervention, visibility of each element within the programme. The first of many fundamental changes increased accountability throughout the business, starting with those in leadership roles. That accountability worked both internally and externally, by increasing the transparency of their reporting.
The delivery of the D&I interventions over the past two years has involved the whole of Consulting, in recognition that inclusion is everyone’s responsibility. Most of the plan was delivered through a combination of leadership and people-led activities, and co-ordinated by the Consulting People team, leaders and delivery teams embedded throughout the business.
PwC sees D&I as a journey, so although they’ve achieved great outcomes in the past two years, this is by no means the end. They will continue to build on this progress to build a truly diverse, inclusive culture, where everybody can thrive.
Recent analysis shows that the ethnic diversity of PwC Consulting staff has improved; the proportion of ethnic minorities in their promotion process has improved year on year; and Ethnic Minority Consulting People Engagement Index score improved, to be on par with that of non-ethnic minorities.
The achievement of targets is important to keep the firm on track and to keep awareness high but, more importantly, PwC is making a real difference to the composition of its organisation, and making a difference to society in the way it can. It all adds up towards PwC living up to its purpose and values.
“It has been staggering to see the uptake of the D&I agenda in the past two years in our business. As a black partner, I have never seen such open, honest and genuine conversations. I have been especially taken aback by how many people have been open to truly seeking out ways to change the discussion. We have a real sense of change in our culture – a positive one!” Alwin Swales, PwC Consulting Partner.
View the PwC profile in the MCA Members Directory.