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Inclusion, Diversity and Equity


We empower our people to thrive with us.

Gender equity continues to be a strong focus for our leadership. As a network, we’re dedicated to supporting change and focus our efforts on helping to guide and develop talented women at KPMG. We also use our community to voice and address key challenges and barriers, leading activity around topical issues such as menopause, fertility and women’s safety.

KPMG UK Women’s Employee Network (KNOW) chairs

Commitments and recognition

We’ve committed to having 40:40:20 representation at partner level by 2030. The target requires us to have a minimum of 40% female colleagues and 40% male colleagues in the relevant population. 20% is flexible and recognises the moving nature of our firm, while setting parameters for us to meet and stay within.
We’re a signatory of the HM Treasury Women in Finance Charter and the Tech Talent Charter. We signed up to the HM Treasury Women in Finance Charter in September 2017 – a commitment by HM Treasury and signatory firms to promote gender diversity and work together to build a more balanced and fair industry. We publish our progress annually and remain on track to meet our 2030 targets.
We’ve been recognised in the Times Top 50 Employers for Gender Equality for 13 consecutive years (2011 – 2023).
We are a corporate sponsor of the FTSE Women Leaders Review (formally the Hampton-Alexander Review), the independent, business-led framework supported by the Government, which sets recommendations for Britain’s largest companies to improve the representation of women on Boards and Leadership teams.

Where we are now

Females firm-wide / 49% 1-Oct-23 spot count (1-Oct-22: 49%)
Female Executive Committee members / 44% Jan 24 (Jan 23: 55%)
Female Partners / 29% 1-Oct-23 spot count (1-Oct-22: 28%)
Female graduate and apprentice joiners / 53% FY23 (FY22: 50%)

These figures are based on the total headcount as at 1 Oct 2023.

Find out more about representation across our firm here. You can also find out about our 2023 Pay Gaps and how we’re addressing them here.

Our gender equity action plan

Accountable leaders We have been named in the Times Top 50 Employers for Gender Equality for 13 consecutive years. Our chief executive Jon Holt was recognised in the HERoes Advocates list, and our former Chief People Officer Lisa Fernihough, was listed in the HERoes Women Executive List 2023.

We’re also making progress against our 2030 targets, with an increase in female representation at senior levels of our firm. 44% of our Executive Committee and 44% of our Board are female, and all three of our capabilities are led by women.
Our broader impact KPMG are proud co-sponsors of the FTSE Women Leaders Review (formally the Hampton-Alexander Review), which is an independent, business-led framework supported by the Government, which sets recommendations for Britain’s largest companies to improve the representation of Women on Boards and in Leadership positions.

We're represented on groups including Women in Tech, Women of the Future, Council for investing in women entrepreneurs and Women on the Wharf. KPMG are also the Global Lead Sponsors of Women Corporate Directors. And, we've signed up to HM Treasury's Women in Finance Charter and the Tech Talent Charter too.

Over the course of FY23, we sponsored the Women of the Future Network, part of the Women of the Future Programme founded by Pinky Lilani CBE. The platform, for successful ambitious women across the UK, enables them to come together, share experiences and build their own networks. This year we bought the network together for three engaging and insightful events discussing topics such as women in leadership and building a public profile.

Rachel Hopcroft, Partner, Head of Corporate Affairs and our Women of the Future Network sponsor, says: “I am delighted that KPMG UK sponsored the Women of the Future Network in 2023, helping bring together talented women across the UK. The relationships we build as we progress our careers are vital, and the Women of the Future Network provides this platform to over a 1,000 brilliant and talented women.”
Equitable experiences To help keep us accountable on this journey, we have refreshed our dedicated Gender Equity Plan which outlines our intended actions for the coming years, with interventions ranging from improving how we support parents and carers, through to new learning offerings and initiatives that empower our colleagues to work in an agile way.

We analyse data around promotions and progression to make sure they’re proportionate. Nearly half (48%) of all our promotions across the business this year were female, and our Progression Report showed a +2% point gap in average progression rate for women in the firm. We’ve also put processes in place to challenge the business, and we ensure our policies reflect current trends in relation to topics such as menopause, agile working, and women’s representation in leadership.

In areas that have historically lacked women’s representation, such as Deal Advisory and Technology, we run specific Insight Programmes. And to support progression of women in the firm, we have a number of dedicated initiatives including personal development programme GROW and our award-winning IT’s Her Future programme.

From a recruitment perspective, we also aim for a gender balance across our graduate and apprentice intake, which we achieved with 53% females in our 2023 cohorts. One of the ways we support this aim is to ensure our interviewer and assessor pool is gender-balanced, whenever possible.

Our external recruitment efforts are supported by dedicated gender-focused partnerships with organisations such as STEM Women, IT's Not Just for the Boys and Women in the City Afro-Caribbean Network. We also have dedicated university events, society sponsorships and course targeting that is gender-focused too.
Inclusive environment KPMG's Network of Women (KNOW) also provides invaluable support, helping to celebrate and promote gender balance, and provide opportunities for colleagues to share experiences and gain guidance on professional development.

We’re doing more to build a more inclusive and supportive culture for women, as well as empowering our people to drive change in our business. To further improve women’s wellbeing in the workplace we introduced free menstrual products across our UK offices, following an initiative driven by some of our colleagues.

We also offer coaching and resources to support parents before and after returning to work, and throughout their child's life. And shared parental leave and time off for parents undertaking fertility treatment or adopting via surrogacy.
Getting to ‘KNOW’ KPMG’s Network of Women

KPMG's Network of Women (KNOW) was created to provide support to colleagues across the firm, helping to celebrate and promote gender balance and provide opportunities for colleagues to share experiences and gain guidance on professional development.

As the network has evolved and grown, the impact they’re able to have has too. Sarah Dal Pozzo, co-chair of the network explains “KNOW plays a really important part in driving progress within the business. We work closely with our Inclusion, Diversity and Equity team and our leadership to help shape how we address gender related barriers”.

“Most recently, we helped push for a formal Menopause Policy and better support to be provided for those affected by menopause, which came into place in 2023. We’ve already had over 160 colleagues use our dedicated menopause support service, alongside some really successful initiatives including a menopause café series and the launch of dedicated Menopause Ambassadors, including our first male ambassador” adds Sarah.

A key part of the network’s strategy is to educate and engage, whether that be leadership, allies, or colleagues more broadly across the business. Sarah explains “We recognise the huge role intersectionality plays in people’s individual experiences, so more and more we’re working with the other employee networks across KPMG to tackle issues and have conversations that are tailored to different minority characteristics. For instance, partnering with our African and Caribbean network during Black History Month for an event specifically designed for Black heritage women.”

With targets in place to reach gender parity by 2030 and a dedicated Gender Equity Plan, KPMG are ensuring gender equity remains high on the agenda. “It’s great that we have ambitious targets and that the business recognises that there is still more we need to do” says Sarah. “As a network, we’re always listening and learning to ensure we’re focussing our effort in the right areas. For instance, hormone related support in the workplace is becoming more prominent and is something we’re exploring. We’re also keen to get more allies on board – for us this about gender equity, not just women”.

IT’s Her Future: Encouraging Women into Tech

IT’s Her Future is KPMG’s award-winning flagship women in technology programme. Originally founded back in 2015 as an action group, it aims to tackle gender diversity in technology departments and improve the gender parity in senior leadership roles.

“Women make up 53% of the UK workforce but only 24% of the technology workforce. This is exactly why programmes like IT’s Her Future are so important, not only for organisations like KPMG, but our clients and wider society too”, says Laura Verlander, Development Lead for IT’s Her Future.

We support our women at every stage of their career by providing technical and soft-skills based learning, mentoring, networking and community led opportunities, instilling confidence to allow them to be architects of change in technology. We also work with schools, universities, external organisations and clients to address the lack of inclusion and diversity in technology from school through to industry.

Achievements to date and what’s next?

IT’s Her Future has enabled significant changes in the attraction, recruitment, and engagement of women in technology, achieving a 50:50 gender split at graduate level. We’re now focusing on retention and progression of our female technology talent to increase the representation of women in senior leadership positions at KPMG.

  • 1st At the Women in IT and Women in Finance DEI Initiative of the year 2021 for IT’s Her Future.
  • 1st At the Education and Training Initiative of the Year 2021 for our IT’s Her Future Juniors Programme at the Women in IT awards.
  • 40% Proportion of women in all Technology department at KPMG 2023.

Inspiring and Mentoring Future Generations

Our Junior’s programme focuses on expanding tech opportunities for new generations of women. Over 200 girls in over 30 schools and colleges across the UK have benefited from this important outreach activity, gaining insights into the varied world of technology and the extensive range of careers available.

Recruiting Female Talent

Since inception of the programme we have removed STEM degree requirements and implemented the use of gender inclusive language in job descriptions, which has resulted in a steady increase in the number of female job offers accepted - from 36% to 74% and an increase in the number of females in tech roles at KPMG - from 26% to 40%.

Supporting and Progressing Female Talent

Our internal mentoring programme has over 600 mentees and mentors participating, and its benefits are regularly cited in the promotions process, with 40% of promotions being awarded to women in tech in 2023.

KPMG’s Menopause Policy

At KPMG, our aim is to create an open and inclusive environment where our people truly feel the menopause is not an issue that needs to be hidden and can talk about it openly without hesitancy or fear of embarrassment.

“We want our colleagues to feel confident in asking for support and any accommodations so they can continue to be successful in their role, and it’s important that our line managers and colleagues understand what the menopause is and can confidently have positive conversations to support colleagues experiencing menopause” says Charlotte Carter, Director of Culture, Engagement and Wellbeing.

In 2022, KPMG launched a new Menopause policy, which sets out the support available for colleagues before, during and after the menopause. As part of this policy, all colleagues have access to the Bupa Menopause Plan, which provides staff with a 45-minute consultation with a menopause trained GP, personalised care plan and subsequent follow up appointment in addition to 24/7 access to a menopause trained nurse. We've already had over 160 colleagues use our dedicated menopause support service, and we have also established a Menopause Ambassador network (including our first male ambassador) and host monthly Menopause Cafes to provide an opportunity for peer support.

Charlotte adds, “We recognise the menopause as a workplace issue and are taking a number of steps to address it and provide the necessary support for our colleagues. As part of World Menopause Day, we held a series of Menopause speaker events to highlight the importance of talking about menopause in the workplace, early menopause, shared experiences, the associated challenges and lifestyle changes we can make to have a more positive menopause experience.”

Our internal Wellbeing page on Women’s health sets out information about the menopause, early menopause, common myths explained and how we can help and we have also set up Line Manager Menopause training to further support our colleagues. This includes a conversation guide to support with conversations both in and outside the workplace, and CIPD guidance for line managers to support Performance Managers, Engagement Managers or line managers in their conversations and response.

Enhancing gender diversity in Financial Consulting

Launched in 2018, RaiseYou is an award winning, outcomes-focused Diversity & Inclusion programme supporting KPMG UK’s Financial Services Consulting practice. It is a 12-month programme that provides career development support to a selected group of colleagues with diverse characteristics, with the aim of creating to create an inclusive and diverse environment with inspiring leaders and an empowered pipeline of high potential diverse talent.

RaiseYou focuses on a series of practical interventions, delivered in conjunction with UNIDA, a specialist diversity and inclusion consulting firm. This includes bespoke 1:1 and group mentoring, a calendar of developmental-focused events and an extensive programme of work to address specific career blockers identified by women and ethnic minority colleagues.

Noeleen Cowley, founder of the RaiseYou programme and Partner in KPMG Financial Services says, “When I launched the programme there was a lack of awareness around the barriers some women were facing in the sector. We wanted to help them overcome these, so they had an equal opportunity to progress and succeed in their senior leadership roles.”

Since its launch, RaiseYou has supported over 300 colleagues to achieve their career ambitions, with 100% of shortlisted director candidates in the 2023 Senior Cohort going on to achieve a promotion that year, resulting in a 100% record for the last 3 years. When asked at the start of the programme in 2023, only 21% of participants had a formal career sponsor in place, but this had increased to 86% by the end.

RaiseYou has been recognised by the Financial Services industry, winning the Women in Banking and Finance award for Best Diversity and Inclusion Innovation in November 2022. KPMG has also recognised it as being a key driver in helping the firm increase female representation and create a more inclusive culture, with Bina Mehta, KPMG UK chair commenting that RaiseYou has been “instrumental in shifting the dial on gender equality at KPMG.”

Now in its sixth year, the programme continues to shape the career journeys of talented female colleagues and colleagues from ethnic minority backgrounds. The ambition is to build on this success and expand the programme across both the UK firm and global KPMG network, as well as increasing both alumni and client engagement to build a community driving diversity and inclusion across the firm and wider financial services industry.

Harriet Oram, Programme Lead and Partner in KPMG Financial Services, adds “RaiseYou continues to be an ambitious and impactful programme for our talented female colleagues and colleagues from ethnic minority backgrounds in FS Consulting. In partnership with UNIDA, leading the RaiseYou programme this year has been a great privilege, particularly having experienced the positive impact of going through it myself, and I am immensely proud of what we have achieved. When I personally reflect on where we were when this programme first started and where we are now, it is clear to see the impact the RaiseYou programme has had – diverse leadership, role models, work life balance, inclusivity and a continued commitment to support our pipeline of diverse talent.”

Evolving for equity: Taking an intersectional approach to gender equality

As individuals, our identities, backgrounds and circumstances are multi-faceted. To lusion, we must therefore tackle it in a way that recognises these differences.

“At KPMG, intersectionality is embedded at the heart of our inclusion, diversity and equity strategy – this essentially means that we actively look to reflect the different experiences of all women in our approach, which can include everything from differences in age, background, circumstances and beliefs” says Megan Murray-Smith, Inclusion, Diversity and Equity Manager leading on Gender Equity.

Investing time in listening to colleagues and using data and insight can help inform what today’s workforce of women need from organisations.

“Our approach as a firm is constantly evolving. We respond to what our colleagues and data tells us, but sometimes, it’s also influenced by changes in attitude in wider society, key events or topics just becoming more openly discussed in the public space” adds Megan.

Some great examples of how we’re putting intersectional insight into practice include our focus on supporting colleagues experiencing menopause; updated policies, systems and training that are more inclusive for trans women; and a renewed attention on women’s safety, including an update to our Domestic Violence policy and training for managers.

“Reaching gender equity is not going to be a linear path, but we’ll continue to take the time to listen to our colleagues' lived experiences, to help us get it right” says Megan.