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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 the roll-out of our Employability Award, the launch of our now thriving national social mobility network and the publication of our socio-economic background pay gaps for the first time, including industry leading targets as part of our new social mobility action plan.

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 #2 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-21 spot count
Senior colleagues* from lower socio-economic backgrounds / 21% 1-Oct-21 spot count
Graduate and apprentice joiners from lower socio-economic backgrounds / 19% FY21
New experienced hires from lower socio-economic backgrounds / 20% FY21

These figures are based on those that have declared this information to us (75.2% of employees). We are not able to compare this figure to previous data, as we have updated our methodology to bring it in line with advice from social mobility experts, the Bridge Group.

*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 2021 Pay Gaps and how we’re addressing them here.

Our socio-economic background pay gap

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.

You can find our Socio-Economic Background Pay Gap Report here.

Our social mobility action plan

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

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.

We have been 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. Almost 28% of our 2021 community beneficiaries were from UK social mobility coldspots, Opportunity Areas and areas of high deprivation. We’re aiming to increase this to 30% by the end of 2022.
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 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. While our One+1 programme, in collaboration with the Social Mobility Foundation, matches placements provided for KPMG employees contacts with students without such connections. The programme ran virtually in 2021 for 50 students across a two-day experience.

In 2019 we launched our Black Heritage Talent Insight Programme. Whilst the programme is aimed at increasing representation of black heritage talent, we consciously partner with selected third-party organisations to support with attraction, in part due to their reach amongst students from a lower socio-economic background. Of the 2020 intake for this programme 67% of attendees were from non-selective state schools, and 53% were eligible for free school meals – both measures higher than our broader graduate intake. Of the 2021 intake, 86% of participants were made graduate offers.

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. We're also training all our colleagues on socio-economic background, including the invisible barriers that exist.

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 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.
Employability Award

Research shows that where you come from and what your parents do has an impact on work experience opportunities and career aspirations. And the COVID-19 pandemic impacted this further, with students from lower socio-economic backgrounds more likely to face challenges such as lack of technology at home or limited access to quality career advice.

In 2021, we launched our Employability Award, aimed at giving university students 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 or formal work experience programmes.

Over 500 students applied, with 96 students chosen to attend the sessions, which covered topics such as resilience and commercial awareness, as well as providing support with applications and mock interviews. Each student was also given a dedicated contact within the Student Recruitment Team to keep in touch with.

Since the programme ended, 58% of participants have made an application to KPMG’s graduate or work experience programmes. And given that 92% of participants were first or second year students, we hope to see even further applications in the coming years.