Inclusion, Diversity and Equity
We empower our people to thrive with us.
By ensuring our firm is inclusive and reflects the wider society we work within, we’re able to deliver the best possible service for our clients and communities and create a positive working culture within our firm too. Our thriving Employee Networks play a vital role in empowering our people to bring their whole selves to work as the more we understand each other, the more inclusive we can be.Aalia Ahmed, Co-chair of KPMG UK Muslim Employee Network
These figures are based on those that have declared this information to us (83% of employees).
At KPMG UK, we want everyone to feel they can come as they are and reach their full potential, no matter their background. The murder of George Floyd triggered an outpouring of emotion across the globe, and it led to much-needed conversations about policing, societal inequality, social justice, fairness and institutional racism. As a firm we reflected on the experience of our Black Heritage colleagues in order to understand where we could make improvements and provide additional support to level the playing field.
On 18 June 2020, we launched our Black Lives Action Plan (BLAP) focused on five areas to amplify the voices and experiences of Black Heritage colleagues in our workplace.
We committed to at least doubling our Black Heritage population in leadership positions by 2022 and to do more to engage and retain our Black colleagues and ensure they join and progress through our organisation equitably. We have surpassed the targets set for 2022 and set bold and ambitious 2030 targets for Partner and Director representation. One year on, we’ve made positive progress against both of those targets.
We’re using dedicated resources, education, leadership and accountability to continue to drive our Action Plan forward, and the concept of allyship is critically important to this. Over 1,200 people in KPMG have signed up to our Black Lives Allyship Programme, since its launch in July 2020, which pairs people together to mentor, sponsor and learn from each other. Our third cohort is set to launch in January 2023. Through our allyship programme we’ve supported 41%* of the Black Heritage enrolees to gain a promotion in that time. Building on this success, we launched a Cross-Company Allyship Programme, which opens the opportunity for KPMG and client mentors and mentees to gain experiences and access networks from outside of their own organisations.
Our Black Heritage Talent Insight Programme is aimed at students of Black Heritage, who can gain insight into the work of KPMG, build essential networks, develop their professional skills and gain the opportunity to be considered for graduate positions.
We are also proud to be part of the 10,000 Black Interns programme. From Summer 2022, we have offered a minimum of four weeks paid work experience, training and development aimed specifically at students of Black Heritage. We also host an annual KPMG Black Entrepreneur Awards, which aims to inspire, accelerate and celebrate success among Black Heritage entrepreneurs. And through our involvement with other broader initiatives, such as our voluntary work through the Prince’s Trust, we help improve educational opportunities and outcomes for disadvantaged young people, including those from Black communities.
Our new collaboration with Black Young Professionals Network is an exciting opportunity for our colleagues to help empower Black professionals who want to develop their career in one of KPMG’s capability areas, by sharing their experiences and professional insights.
Meanwhile, KPMG’s African and Caribbean Employee Network continues to be a welcoming and supportive community empowering those of Black Heritage to achieve tangible personal and professional development goals and create impact outside of KPMG in the wider community.
Following its successful implementation two years on, our team won the large business award category at the Black Talent Awards in recognition of our accelerated efforts to execute progress on the Black inclusion agenda.
*Analysis of our Allyship programme completed in January 2021.
Tyeisha arrived in the UK at the age of 10 along with her five siblings when her parents fled from political upheavals in the Congo. Her parents found work as cleaners as they established family life in east London. “My Dad was never home – he was always working!” Tyeisha reflects.
With no pattern to follow, Tyeisha wasn’t sure of the path ahead. She got her A levels at the local state school but didn’t apply for university. She began a hairdressing qualification but didn’t follow through with it. She went back to college, got a business administration qualification and found an office manager role. Then she saw a position advertised at KPMG.
“I never expected to get the job and I was so proud when I did! It’s been a rollercoaster since then,” Tyeisha says. She had various roles within KPMG before going on maternity leave. It was when she came back to the firm in 2019 that things really seemed to take off.”
“I belong to the Afro-Caribbean Network and through that I got a mentor,” Tyeisha says. “She has made a huge difference, helping me think about my career path. It’s made me feel more empowered. I’ve been promoted three times in the last three years and am now a manager. I can see other people around me who look like me or share a similar background in really senior positions and it gives me hope and belief for the future.”
Tyeisha believes there are opportunities for anyone who is prepared to work hard at the firm. “I think there have always been a huge number of opportunities. What’s changed is the way the firm communicates about them and opens them up, so that individuals like myself can see a future within the firm. No matter where we started.”
Created by one of our colleagues, Olu Odubajo and sponsored by Chris Hearld, Head of Regions, the Black Entrepreneur Awards were born as a result of research conducted by UK Government that found black-heritage entrepreneurs often face challenges early in their career when seeking the right support and financial backing.
Now entering its third year, the programme aims to provide funding, publicity, business workshops and mentoring to talented black-heritage entrepreneurs and create a community of likeminded business owners. Founder of the awards Olu says: “Organisations like KPMG have a real opportunity to add value to start-up businesses and drive change. I’m grateful that the firm shared my ambition and together, we’re able to level the playing field and support the business growth of so many inspiring Black entrepreneurs.”
Our 2021 competition saw more than 100 entrepreneurs apply to the scheme, with three winners named as ‘most promising young business’ (Papachichi Style (Mary Adekoya), ‘most promising mature business’ (Definely (Nnamdi Emelifeonwu) and ‘most promising social impact’ Mumspring International (Abisola Oladapo).
Each winner will gain access to a bespoke 12-month business acceleration programme, designed to make their start-ups investment ready. They also receive £10,000 to invest in their business or donate to a charity or community project of their choice.
John McCalla-Leacy, Head of ESG and co-host of the 2021 awards said: “There is a huge amount of talent to be unlocked from focussing on widening diversity across the startup ecosystem and we are delighted to support and celebrate these three amazing innovators alongside the seven other finalists as they look to scale their businesses”.
Kumi joined the Black Heritage Talent Insight programme in September 2020. She wanted to work in an accountancy firm but worried she didn't have the right experience. The initiative invites final year students and graduates to take part in an assessment and, if successful, secure a place on one of our graduate programmes. Our insight programmes enable participants to see what KPMG is like before they join, meeting others from different parts of the firm. "I loved meeting other people on the scheme," says Kumi. "Hearing their stories and their pathways was really interesting because mine wasn't a traditional one." Kumi now works in transaction services in Deal Advisory. "I was able to find the perfect fit for me."Kumi / Graduate Trainee