KPMG’s Approach to Social Mobility
How far does someone’s background affect their career prospects? It’s a question debated in many societies around the world. There are many research studies that have shown there are significant obstacles to social mobility and, historically, it’s been more difficult for people from less advantaged backgrounds to forge successful careers in professional services.
That’s why KPMG has made a concerted effort to redress the balance through a variety of initiatives. The aim is to build a fairer future for all and make the firm a truly welcoming place for everyone – regardless of their socio-economic background.
In other words, success shouldn’t be based on where you come from. It should be the result of where you’re capable of going.
Clear Targets & Direction
KPMG doesn’t just talk the talk. It has set itself ambitious targets to meet by 2030 in terms of inclusion, diversity and equity. This includes a pledge to have representation of people from lower socio-economic backgrounds at 29% among Partners and Directors.
The firm’s published commitment is to ‘help create an environment where diversity of experience, background and perspective are truly valued, and our people are empowered to come as they are’.
Here are just some of the achievements and initiatives that testify to KPMG’s approach:
A Network to Ensure Mobility
It’s important that people with shared experiences can communicate easily with each other and find mutual support. That’s why KPMG’s Social Mobility Employee Network exists. It empowers colleagues from less-privileged backgrounds to achieve their development goals and helps to build a stronger culture within the firm. There are currently over 500 members in the UK firm..
Top Ranking for KPMG
The Social Mobility Employer Index has ranked KPMG among the top three businesses since 2017, which is a tribute to the advances that have already been made. Published by the Social Mobility Foundation, the respected annual benchmarking and assessment tool assesses performance in seven areas of workplace social mobility. From the bespoke feedback received, KPMG is able to further refine its inclusion, diversity and equity work and build on its social mobility strategy.
Bina Mehta – A Mobility Champion
Bina Mehta is the Chair of KPMG in the UK, and the first woman to hold the role in the firm’s 150-year history. She was recognised as Champion of the Year at the October 2022 UK Social Mobility Awards.
“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.” – KPMG UK Social Mobility Employee Network (UpBringing) Chairs
KPMG’s Discovery Work Experience Programme
Designed for aspiring, curious and enthusiastic students, KPMG’s Discovery Work Experience Programme is for those finishing Year 13 or who have perhaps already completed their studies and are looking for an apprenticeship. It provides a chance to interact face-to-face with other students, participate in workshops and develop key skills – all while discovering more about life at the leading professional services firm. The paid, three-day course is an important part of making a career at KPMG more accessible to everybody.
The One+1 programme – in collaboration with the Social Mobility Foundation – provides opportunities for work experience for those students without connections. KMPG offered 67 such placements in 2022.
KPMG’s Social Mobility Talent Insight Programme
This is another important programme primarily aimed at students from a lower socio-economic background. It’s ideal for people from any degree discipline, motivated to make their mark. The paid three day programme is focused on a particular area of the business, from Audit to Consulting to Tax & Law, but is also designed to give a good oversight into life at KPMG. . Anyone who successfully completes the Delivering Outcomes Assessment may be approached to discuss the graduate scheme.
Joseph joined us in the autumn of 2022 in the Risk and Regulatory Consulting team. In this short video, he talks not only of his own experience, but also how he has worked as a buddy and undertaken outreach work with children in schools.
One of the First Accredited Living Wage Employers
KPMG was one of the first businesses to be accredited as a Living Wage employer back in 2012. The recognition reflects its ongoing commitment to ensure that everyone is fairly rewarded for their work. Leaders represent the firm on the Living Wage Advisory Council.
Conducting Research in Conjunction with Bridge Group
Since 2021, KPMG has been reporting on pay gaps related to socio-economic background – one of the first organisations to do so. The firm has also been working in partnership with the Bridge Group, who are experts in the field of social equality, to receive advice on the most robust and reliable indicators, definitions and terminology in this important and complex area. In 2022, KPMG published extensive analysis of the progression rates at the firm, which marks another important step in its commitment to social mobility.
New Context for Recruitment
KPMG has recently introduced contextual recruitment methods for its 2023 intake of graduates and apprentices, focusing on an individual’s overall potential. It considers academic results in the context they were achieved – looking at socio-economic background, as well as an extenuating circumstances.
To find out more about the steps taken by KMPG in the area of social mobility – and to see the wider work undertaken by the firm in the field of inclusion, diversity and equity – please visit us HERE