Driving social mobility

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Our people

Driving social mobility

Leading the way towards a more diverse, inclusive and equitable business.

As a firm, we've been committed to improving social mobility for over a decade. This includes working with our local communities to raise skills and aspirations, challenging our recruitment and promotion processes and being the first firm to publish comprehensive socio-economic background workforce data in 2016. This level of transparency has allowed us to understand the barriers that exist and to hold ourselves to account to change.

This year, we're continuing to challenge ourselves to go further by reporting our socio-economic background pay gaps for the first time. We're 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 chosen method of calculation (parental occupation groups), the reasoning for this, the definition of socio-economic background and the terminology used.

We know pay gaps are just one part of the picture. What's important is what we do with that data. That's why we're also publishing a social mobility action plan to set out how we're addressing our pay gaps.

We've also set an ambitious target that aims to see 29% of our partners and directors from a working-class background by 2030. This has been calculated by benchmarking against relevant groups within Labour Force Survey data and compares to 39% of the UK workforce being from a working-class background. Currently 23% of our partners and 20% of our directors are from a working-class background.

You can find out more in our full Socio-economic Background Pay Gap Report below.

Jon Holt

I'm committed to making KPMG a place where there's no limit to where your talent, achievement and hard work can take you, whoever you are, and whatever your background.

Jon Holt / Chief Executive, KPMG in the UK
Bina Mehta

This isn't about simply reporting more data. It's about shining a light on what's truly happening within organisations so that targeted action can be taken to help create a fairer and more equitable society.

Bina Mehta / Chair, KPMG in the UK

Download the full KPMG UK Socio-Economic Background Pay Gap report

Our socio-economic background pay gaps

We use parental occupation as the measure for our socio-economic background pay gaps, identified by the Bridge Group, and other social mobility experts, as the most robust and reliable indicator. Please see our full report for the explanation of the occupation groups we've used.

The total in-scope KPMG population, including partners, for base pay socio-economic background pay reporting is 10,444, This data covers over 70 per cent of our workforce and the pay gaps are based on hourly pay taken at 5 April 2021.

As parental occupation is defined in three main groups, we are using a tiered methodology, recommended by the Bridge Group, to show several binary pay gaps. These outline the difference in average pay between employees who have declared their parental occupation in a specific group, comparing professional vs working class, professional vs intermediate and intermediate vs working class.

We are reporting our socio-economic background pay gaps for the first time this year and on a voluntary basis.

Professional vs working class

Median socio-economic background pay gaps as of April 2021 including partners
Mean socio-economic background pay gaps as of April 2021 including partners

Professional vs intermediate

Median socio-economic background pay gaps as of April 2021 including partners
Mean socio-economic background pay gaps as of April 2021 including partners

Intermediate vs working class

Median socio-economic background pay gaps as of April 2021 including partners
Mean socio-economic background pay gaps as of April 2021 including partners

The mean socio-economic background pay gaps are calculated by adding up all of the pay of KPMG employees and dividing it by the number of employees. The median socio-economic background pay gaps, however, are calculated by lining up all of KPMG's employees' pay and finding the mid-point for 'professional', 'intermediate' and 'working class'. The difference between the two mid-points in each instance is the median socio-economic background pay gap.

Our social mobility action plan

Leadership and culture We're setting a socio-economic background representation target for the first time, alongside our other diversity targets. We are aiming for 29 per cent of our Partners and Directors to be from a working class background by 2030.

We've launched a new national Social Mobility Network, empowering 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.
Recruitment We're running dedicated socio-economic background programmes for students, including the expansion of our Employability Award. This is in addition to our existing work with schools, universities, alternative further education providers and targeted partners.

We're increasing our focus on socio-economic background in our Experienced Hire recruitment and implementing programmes dedicated to bringing in talent from lower socio-economic backgrounds.
Retention and engagement We're training all our colleagues on socio-economic background, including the invisible barriers that exist.

Our new Social Mobility Network will host a regular series of events and activities, increasing the awareness of creating equal opportunities, addressing barriers to progression and building a more inclusive workplace.
Progression Our award-winning personal development programme GROW helps diverse talent reach the next stage of their career.

We are expanding this to include colleagues from low 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.
Intersectionality We're building on our previous research undertaken by the Bridge Group, to continue to analyse and understand the intersectional challenges facing colleagues of a lower socio-economic background and are replicating existing programmes, such as our Black Allyship Programme, for lower socio-economic background colleagues.

Download the full KPMG UK Socio-Economic Background Pay Gap report

David first encountered KPMG on work experience as part of the firm's work with the Social Mobility Foundation's Aspiring Professionals programme in 2015. "Prior to this, I had a mental predisposition of what an accountant looked or behaved like and didn't feel I could ever become one," says David. "This changed when I met KPMG employees with stories just like mine.

This experience gave David the confidence to join the apprenticeship programme in 2017 and he is now a Management Consulting Apprentice in Glasgow. As soon as he had joined, David wanted to help others follow his journey. He now co-chairs the national Social Mobility Network at KPMG.

The network launched earlier this year and already has over 300 UK members. "It's brought a sense of belonging and unity for colleagues, he says. "It's a place to bring their stories, beliefs and ideas for discussion and to increase the understanding of the social mobility experience across the UK.

David McIntosh / Apprentice, KPMG in the UK