Content 1100 styling change to allow custom header

Inclusion, Diversity and Equity

Social mobility

We empower our people to thrive with us.

Social mobility is all about creating a fairer, more equitable society. And that work starts within our own firm. We've been committed to improving social mobility for over a decade and are extremely proud to be leading in this space. The past year alone has seen a number of achievements for KPMG in this space. We implemented contextual recruitment within our Student programmes for the class of 2023, won the Mobility Champion of the year Award (by Bina Mehta, UK Chair and rank 3rd in the Social Mobility Employers Index). We also published extensive analysis into the impact different characteristics and socio-economic backgrounds have on your rate of progression in our firm.

KPMG UK Social Mobility Employee Network (UpBringing) chairs

Commitments and recognition

We’ve committed to having 29% lower socio-economic background firm-wide representation by 2030.
We’re recognised as a Living Wage accredited employer and were one of the first companies to be recognised.
We’ve been ranked #3 in the Social Mobility Employer Index and recognised in the top three since it started in 2017.

Where we are now

Colleagues from lower socio-economic backgrounds firm-wide / 21% 1-Oct-22 spot count (FY21: 21%)
Senior colleagues* from lower socio-economic backgrounds / 21% 1-Oct-22 spot count (FY21: 21%)
Graduate and apprentice joiners from lower socio-economic backgrounds / 20% FY22 (FY21: 19%)
New experienced hires from lower socio-economic backgrounds / 21% FY22 (FY21: 20%)

These figures are based on those that have declared this information to us (74% of employees).

*Senior colleagues are defined as Exco, Board, Partners and Directors.

Find out more about representation across our firm here. You can also find out about our 2022 Pay Gaps and how we’re addressing them here.

Our social mobility action plan

Leadership and culture In 2021, we set a socio-economic background representation target for the first time, aiming for 29 per cent of Partners and Directors to be from a lower socio-economic background by 2030.

We're building on previous research undertaken by the Bridge Group to further analyse and understand the intersectional challenges facing colleagues of lower socio-economic backgrounds. We recently published research into the progression rates of different characteristics in our firm.

Our Social Mobility Network empowers colleagues from less-privileged backgrounds to achieve their development goals, collectively share their experiences and support one another to make a difference and build a stronger culture at KPMG. We're also publishing the socio-economic background of our Board and Executive Committee.

Our work in this area has led to us being ranked in the top three of the Social Mobility Employer Index since it started in 2017.
Fairness in our systems and processes We apply a place-based approach to our community initiatives to make sure we're targeting the areas of greatest need, working alongside local stakeholders, governments and charities to help tackle regional inequalities.

In 2021, we reported our socio-economic background pay gaps for the first time and are one of the first organisations to do so. We've worked with experts in the field of social equality, the Bridge Group, to advise us on the most robust and reliable indicator of social mobility (parental occupation groups), the definition of socio-economic background and the terminology used.

In 2022 we went a step further and published extensive analysis of the progression rates at our firm, which marks another important step in our social mobility journey. Socio-economic background was found to have the strongest effect on progression, compared to any other characteristic. As part of the research, we shared detail on the action we’re taking to tackle this, as well as a toolkit designed to help other businesses do the same.
Our collective voice From being one of the first accredited Living Wage employers in 2012, to being the founding partner of the UK's National Numeracy Day in 2018, KPMG has led on this agenda for over a decade. In 2020, we supported the Social Mobility Commission with the planning and delivery of the Professional and Financial Services toolkit. Our leaders represent our firm on groups such as the City of London socio-economic diversity taskforce, Living Wage Advisory Council and Patchwork Foundation.

We also support initiatives such as the University of Essex RISING Stars, Manchester Access Programme and King’s College Careers+.
Talent We’ve recently introduced contextual recruitment methods for our 2023 intake of graduates and apprentices. This new approach places greater focus on an individual’s overall potential and considers academic results in the context in which they were achieved, looking at both socio-economic background as well as any extenuating circumstances. As part of this, we’ve broadened entry requirements for specific programmes, such as our Technology graduate programmes.

Our Discovery work experience programme, in support of Access Accountancy, is dedicated to supporting young people from lower socio-economic backgrounds, with many going on to apply for and join our apprenticeship programmes. Our One+1 programme, in collaboration with the Social Mobility Foundation, matches placements provided for KPMG employees contacts with students without such connections. In 2022 the Discovery programme provided places to 150 candidates and the One+1 programme provided placements to 67 individuals.

We're increasing our focus on socio-economic background in our experienced hire recruitment too by implementing dedicated programmes. We're also training all our colleagues on socio-economic background and the invisible barriers that exist.

Our award-winning personal development programme GROW helps diverse talent reach the next stage of their career. We’re now expanding this to include colleagues from lower socio-economic backgrounds. As guided by the Bridge Group, we will use parental occupation groups as a key measure to assess fairness and equity across all of our people processes.
Your background shouldn’t be a barrier: Harris’ story

Harris was born and bred in Birmingham, after his parents emigrated to the UK from Pakistan in 1968. His father was a factory worker while his mother looked after the home. His parents throughout his childhood put in the hours to save to give the best opportunities they could for their son.

It paid off, with Harris getting his A levels at the local college and becoming the first person amongst his extended family to go to university – reading Computer Science and Business Management at Aston University. He graduated with a 1st class honours and from there, he got onto the graduate scheme at a financial data company. At the beginning of 2022, he joined KPMG.

“I used to drive past the KPMG building in Birmingham and the brand has always seemed prestigious,” Harris reflects. “It was a great day when I joined the firm.”

Since then, things have moved fast. Harris saw an email about the firm’s Next Generation Leader scheme, applied and was given a place. He’s already been promoted to manager and leads a small team providing digital agility design services to clients. He has a mentor too – one of KPMG’s senior partners, David Rowlands.

“It’s been fantastic,” Harris says. “I’m so lucky to have David as a mentor – he’s really helped shape my thinking. Mentors are so important for people from backgrounds like mine because you don’t have anyone in your family who’s been there before and can give you guidance.”

He adds: “As a Pakistani and practising Muslim, I’ve faced no barriers and I’ve found KPMG very inclusive. I was taken back by the quality of the prayer room in Canary Wharf. It really said a lot about how serious the firm is about ‘showing up as yourself.”

Employability Award

KPMG’s Student Recruitment team have been running an Employability Award since 2021. It is aimed at giving university and school and college students from lower socio-economic backgrounds the opportunity to increase their employability skills and build confidence. The programme was also designed to be a gateway to applying to KPMG – empowering participants to apply to our graduate, apprenticeship, or formal work experience programmes.

The Employability Awards are run in the Autumn and Spring for undergraduates and in the Easter holidays for school and college students. Across Autumn 2021 and Spring 2022, 99 students took part in the Awards. The sessions covered topics such as resilience and commercial awareness, as well as providing support with applications and mock interviews, and giving them the opportunity to hear from . Each student was also given a dedicated contact within the Student Recruitment team to keep in touch with, a certificate of completion and an Amazon voucher. 83% of these students made an application for 2022 and 2023 programmes.