Case Study - Inclusion & Diversity Programme
Gender Diversity is a key strategic focus for KPMG Ireland. Through the range of Gender Diversity and Intelligent Working Arrangement (IWA) Initiatives they rolled out over the three years, they are striving to make KPMG a better place to work, to build a culture where they are supporting all their people to balance their career ambitions and personal lives, and to grow a wider pool of female talent, all of which benefit the individual whilst strengthening our business. We have put in place a significant range of specific targeted initiatives aimed at promoting Gender Diversity. All of these initiatives (Intelligent Working Arrangements, Maternity supports, Training, Coaching, Role Model lunches, Executive Speaker Series, a range of external programmes), have confirmed their commitment to ensuring that they make a real and substantive positive difference to all of our people , and where women can see they can have a long term and rewarding career with us.
KPMG are proud to have an Inclusion & Diversity Programme as a key strategic focus. We believe it makes us a more attractive place to work, delivers better business performance and most importantly - is the right thing to do. KPMG signed the Women’s Empowerment Principals and we saw this as a catalyst to focus on Gender Diversity as the initial target area.
Whilst we hire 50% male and female graduates, our female Director figure was 31% and female Partner figure was 16%. Through the range of initiatives introduced over 36 months, we are striving to make KPMG a better place to work, to build a culture which supports all our people to balance their career ambitions and personal lives, and to grow a wider pool of female talent. A huge amount has been achieved to date:
- Intelligent Work Arrangement (IWA) options were introduced with core-hours offering more flexibility in relation to start/finish times, to options for working from home.
- Maternity supports: The introduction of a ramp down/ramp up model to allow women having children to have more flexibility to take time out of the ‘Partner Path’
- Training: We developed our own Unconscious Bias training and are introducing to our management group. We have also put in place specific training programmes for people returning from maternity leave and offer 1:1 coaching.
- We have launched two internal initiatives to promote female role models:
- Executive Speaker series where high profile female CEO’s deliver a talk about their career path
- Role Model lunches - we have hosted 26 lunches by female KPMG partners
- We have looked at how we can engage and support women outside of KPMG:
- Going for Growth: supporting female entrepreneurs grow their business and offering supports in terms of finance/tax advice, workshops and business briefings
- Plan International Ireland: sponsorship of a female empowerment project for women in Sri Lanka
The aims of the programme are to ensure that we encourage more women to stay on to senior positions within the firm; to ensure they feel valued within the workplace; to ensure KPMG is seen as a firm where women believe they can build a long term, fulfilling career. We wanted to change the culture to ensure we are seen as more inclusive, more flexible and a place that female talent can reach its full potential.
The goals were decided by the Steering Group (chaired by the Managing Partner and senior partners), based on feedback from focus group sessions we ran. Extensive research was conducted as to what was ‘best practice’ in this area, and we developed a programme that was tailored to KPMG Ireland and targeted the most significant perceived barriers for ensuring KPMG Ireland was a gender friendly workplace.
The Gender Diversity programme is a key strategic focus for the firm and is driven from the top.
We have engaged all staff on our Gender Diversity journey.
We announced our focus on this agenda at our Management Conference in 2014 and have since engaged in a communications campaign led by our Managing Partner reinforcing our commitment to the agenda; inclusion of messages in our quarterly firm wide briefings; targeted emails to various levels within the firm outlining the range of IWAs available for them to avail of; invitations to internal events such as the Executive Speaker Series and Role Model lunches; etc.
As with any programme of this scale it is a continual challenge to bring everyone along the journey at the same pace. Professional Services firms have a tradition of being on-call to clients 24/7 so the perception in the past is that this is not the ideal career path for a working mother/someone who wants more work/life balance. Our programme is designed to help change the culture within the firm and highlight that this the ‘right thing to do’ and it is also the ‘smart thing to do’. We believe that more diversity at the senior levels can positively impact on the bottom line and overall business performance
We have had widespread engagement in our programmes with the below stats:
- Held six Focus Groups, with over 60 employees participating in exploring what the barriers were to more females staying in KPMG Ireland through to Partner level
- Held 28 Role model lunches (hosted by KPMG female partners) with over 300 female new managers, associate directors and directors participating
- Hosted eight Executive Speaker Series’ with over 700 people attending
- A number KPMG staff facilitated workshops for Going for Growth participants, and through our support for Going for Growth supported over 200 female entrepreneurs between Cycle 7, 8 & 9 between 2015-2017
- 34 females have attended return to work (after maternity) four module training sessions and
- 17 have availed of 1:1 coaching. This programme is designed to build confidence after maternity leave.
- Rolled out Unconscious Bias Training sessions to over 90% of Partners, 80% of directors and this year we are extending it to our management grade.
- Completed a survey of staff to continue to measure progress
- The gender diversity initiatives are helping to make KPMG a better place to work based on the views of 76% of respondents
- IWAs are having a positive/somewhat positive impact on the work environment with 75% of respondents stating this to be the case
- There is a good take up of IWAs within the response group with 23% of Directors/Managers stating they avail of some flexible arrangement
- There is good visibility of IWAs with 75% stating they know of people availing of IWAs
- In relation to people feeling they can bring their ‘whole self’ to work, 89% of respondents felt that they could be themselves in relation to cultural background, race, colour, gender, sexual orientation.
We are continuing on our journey with this agenda. There is no quick fix or ‘silver bullet’ that will solve all the related issues to why more women don’t stay on to Director/Partner in KPMG. We have built a programme where we have senior management leadership focus on this agenda. The Steering Group meets four times a year and all communications are driven by our Managing Partner. We plan to build on what we have done to date by looking to engage more of our female talent in opportunities to build their confidence, give them the necessary steps to succeed and ensure they work in a supportive environment.
Being an inclusive workplace is very important to KPMG and helping all our people reach their full potential, both male and female is particularly important. We have initiated this broad array of initiatives targeting female staff so that there is a more supportive environment for our female talent to reach their career objectives. We have done a huge amount of work showcasing role models, offering training and support, encouraging flexible work options, listening to our staff and responding appropriately. The Gender Diversity programme promotes inclusion of all our staff in a firm that is seen as offering lots of opportunity, a fulfilling career, a rewarding work environment, has flexibility to balance the demands of family and other commitments and is seen as a responsible employer.
Wednesday, 22 November 2017