The Big Four firms were named as some of the best employers for diversity along with companies including Barclays and HSBC UK and regulator the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
Business in the Community’s (BITC) first ever ‘Best Employers for Race’ list, which identified 66 organisations across Britain that had demonstrated best practice in terms of race equality and inclusion, was in response to recommendations from the McGregor-Smith Review.
Those listed were required to show what changes were being made at an organisational level and how inclusive workplace cultures were being implemented.
Organisations provided evidence of their actions in at least one of three areas – leadership, progression and recruitment – and the influence it had on BAME employees.
BITC race equality director Sandra Kerr OBE congratulated the organisations for their “comprehensive and strategic” approach in tackling racial inequality.
“However, there is still room for improvement and we would strongly encourage more employers to step up to the plate on this issue by entering the 2018 listing and encouraging businesses within their supply chain to do the same,” she said.
Emma Codd, managing partner for talent at Deloitte UK, said the firm was “incredibly proud” to be featured in the listing, and that equality was “vital” to its success.
“At Deloitte, we are committed to ensuring that we consistently provide an inclusive environment, underpinned by respect, where everyone can be themselves at work and can thrive, develop and succeed,” said Codd.
The Big Four firm is committed to increasing the amount of partners who are BAME to 10% in 2021, she said, and will have “at least one” BAME member on its executive committee and in its business leadership teams.
“We are working hard to meet these targets, with our continued focus on culture and targeted interventions being a priority for our firm’s leadership,” said Codd.
Steve Varley, EY UK chairman said that to be listed recognises the progess made by EY in driving the conversation on race diversity in the UK workplace.
“Talking about race in UK business is a key driver for change.
“The actions we take, the targets we set, and the external bodies we work with, demonstrates our commitment to improving the representation of BAME talent within our own organisation, whilst also encouraging others to do the same,” said Varley.
KPMG UK’s head of inclusion and diversity Kristen Fox said it was an “honour” for the firm to be listed as an organisation that is putting inclusion at the heart of its business agenda.
“We know that employing a diverse workforce is an important part of what makes us the clear choice for our people, our clients, and our communities,” said Fox.
Although pleased with the listing, Fox said there was still work to be done in ensuring the barriers to entry and progression for BAME individuals were broken down.
“KPMG is committed to promoting the importance of a diverse workforce in order to push the conversation around equality at work forward, and recognition such as this helps to enable us to be a true magnet for all talent.”
Sarah Churchman, PwC’s head of diversity, said the firm was pleased to be recognised as one of the best employers for BAME people, but she echoed her peers in the profession by pointing out that more work needs to be done to become a fully diverse and inclusive organisation.
“We were the first organisation to report our BAME pay gap and we hope this will shine a spotlight on race inequality in the workplace and encourage others to take action,” said Churchman.
“We’ve also started an open dialogue on race with our people so that we can understand any barriers that our BAME staff face and take action.”
Earlier this year, a government-backed report led by Baroness McGregor-Smith said that equal career progression for BAME employees could give the economy a £24bn boost.