A key element of PwC’s values is to create a diverse and inclusive work environment where everyone can be themselves. But equally important part is to ensure that its people, its stakeholders and prospective employees know where it stands on diversity and inclusion.
Brian Ashmead-Siers, a partner in PwC’s Tax practice, said that the firm’s diversity and inclusion policy as well as our LGBT+ network, GLEE (Gays, Lesbians & Everyone Else), was a key factor in persuading him to join PwC, some five months ago
‘Being able to be open and be myself whilst supporting other LGBT+ employees at PwC is massively important to me.
‘PwC is well-known for being at the forefront of diversity and inclusion. It’s not just having the network for a network’s sake, but actually implementing policies and supporting initiatives important to the LGBT+ community.
‘We have policies in place where my husband is recognised as my other half. He will receive benefits, should anything ever happen to me which is very important. I’ve only been with PwC for about five months and have found being part of the GLEE network a great way to be myself and meet like-minded colleagues, partners and directors from the organisation.
‘Everyone has been extremely welcoming and it is great to see an initiative like GLEE receive such support from PwC.’
[email protected] is literally that – it welcomes gays, lesbians and everyone else and is a large group of like-minded individuals – many from the LGBT+ community, allies and friends, but including a wide range of PwC colleagues who share the same values of inclusion and diversity and want to be part of GLEE’s award-winning network.
Ruth Punter is a director in PwC’s Tax practice, who joined the network to raise awareness of the LGBT+ community, to be a role model and to create opportunities for greater female participation in the network.
‘It’s all about finding where your strengths and interests lie and ensuring that a characteristic like sexual orientation won’t hold you back from pursuing these.
vI’ve been working with clients on how they can address their gender pay gap and one thing we recommend – that PwC itself has introduced for all of its staff – is online learning around unconscious bias.
‘It looks at different scenarios and the assumptions we unconsciously make about each other. As an example, in my career people have made incorrect assumptions about my sexual orientation that led to awkward conversations.
‘It’s challenging because the assumptions people make can stop individuals from being themselves. The most recent version of the training included a trans person. The training is very forward thinking from PwC and now some of our clients use it as well.’
PwC is one of the leading sponsors of the 2017 Pride in London. It will also be represented at Leeds, Birmingham and, for the first time this year, at Belfast Pride. For Denise Hart, the chair of GLEE Northern Ireland, being at Pride is about demonstrating diversity and inclusion – not just talking about it.
‘In Northern Ireland, PwC is in a war for talent. We’re growing fast in a region where students and experienced hires can make choices based on what employers do, rather than what’s in their brochure.
‘I’m proud that we’re supporting Pride, that we’re growing GLEE across the PwC community and that we’re celebrating our diversity with other large firms.
‘In a region where marriage equality is not recognised as elsewhere in the UK, we are publicly demonstrating that diversity and inclusion are embedded in the firm’s DNA and that, regardless of race, religion and orientation, PwC welcomes you and with us, you can be yourself.’
Ben Cooper, a consultant in PwC’s People and Organisation practice, took part in his first Pride parade last year, representing PwC, GLEE and the LGBT+ community. He says that a key focus for PwC is ‘doing the right thing.’ not just for our clients and our communities, but for our people as well.
‘That translates into a diversity and inclusion approach that puts the emphasis on every single person to take responsibility for their values and behaviours.
‘I am really proud that PwC is sponsoring Pride this year and being so publicly supportive of the LGBT+ community. PwC is in a unique position to use its strong public and global presence to advocate and raise the profile of the LGBT+ community.’