KPMG is committed to ensuring that one-third of its senior employees are from the working class, making it the first large UK company to set a goal of socio-economic diversity in the workplace.
The accounting giant is targeting 29% of its partners and directors to come in demographics by 2030.
KPMG defined the working class as anyone whose parents held “routine and manual” jobs, such as plumbers, electricians, butchers and van drivers.
The company will also offer training to all of its 16,000 employees on the “invisible barriers” encountered by people from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds. Big Four said 23% of its 582 partners and one-fifth of its 1,297 directors were from the working class
The engagement, which was first reported by The Times, comes after KPMG boss Bill Michael resigned following a backlash he made on diversity issues during a Zoom call with staff earlier this year.
Mr. Michael spoke out against the concept of unconscious bias while warning staff to “stop moaning” and “stop playing the victim’s card.”
He was replaced by Jon Holt, while Bina Mehta, who identifies as working class, was appointed president.
The company added that employees from these backgrounds were typically paid 8.6% less than those whose parents held “managerial, administrative and senior professional” positions.
“I passionately believe that greater diversity improves business performance,” Ms. Mehta said. “Diversity brings fresh thinking and different perspectives to decision making, which in turn delivers better outcomes for our clients. “
Meanwhile, Mr Holt said: “We know that investors, customers, employees and communities want greater transparency from businesses, and our [plan] is just the beginning.
“But by taking this important step in reporting and giving more details about how we run our business, we measure our progress and hold ourselves accountable to make sure opportunities are open to all. “
The majority of large UK companies have ethnic and gender diversity targets, but KPMG’s decision makes them the first UK company to set a socio-economic diversity target, potentially paving the way for other companies to follow suit.
Justine Campbell, Managing Partner for UK and Irish Talent at rival EY, said: “EY is committed to ensuring that we are attractive to diverse and inclusive talent. To help us achieve this goal, we have set ourselves ambitious goals and focus on inclusion, which creates a culture of belonging.
“The importance of social mobility is rooted in our approach to talent. As one of the UK’s largest recruiters of students, it’s important that we play our part and are accessible to as many talented people as possible.
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This notice was published: 2021-09-09 19:49:58