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Category win: Outstanding Achievement – Anna Somaiya

‘Where are all the women in technology in the UK?’ asked Anna Somaiya, Technology Director at KPMG. Although women make up almost half of the current workforce, they fill a mere 17% of technology roles in the UK.  

Given the speed at which digital innovation is disrupting the business landscape, Anna – a long-term champion of diversity – knew that this lack of female talent was both unacceptable and unsustainable.   

Her solution? To launch KPMG’s ground-breaking, multiple award-winning IT’s Her Future (IHF) programme in 2016 to tackle gender diversity in technology head-on. Welcoming in more female tech talent required a complete rethink of everything from the way women were targeted and recruited, to the measures taken to nurture and develop their career. 

Thanks to Anna’s vision, commitment and leadership, IHF has achieved a step change in culture within KPMG, with unhesitating buy-in from the top. The firm-wide mentoring and coaching scheme she created has grown from a handful of mentors three years ago to an enthusiastic 200 volunteers and counting. 

As a result, the number of female graduates in technology at KPMG rose from 35% in 2015 to 50% in 2019, with experienced hires also growing from 26% to 39% over the same period. The success achieved internally has led to Anna working with clients to implement similar diversity initiatives to revolutionise their own mentoring programmes.  

Highly commended: Rising Star – Joshua Hasdell

Sustainability issues are now at the top of the agenda for businesses, investors and consumers alike. Yet many organisations are still far from clear about the way in which they should respond. How do they drill into the specifics of their plastics usage, say, or set up an ethical supply chain?  

Partners in the firm identified a skill gap in our consulting practice for addressing these issues. Former auditor and marine biologist, Joshua Hasdell, was asked to join KPMG UK’s management consultancy team to help us tackle our client’s growing sustainability needs. 

Since joining in April 2019, Josh has created a step change in the firm’s ability to help its clients navigate these urgent yet complex challenges. Just weeks into his new role, Josh launched a ground-breaking piece of thought leadership, Plastics: To ban or not to ban, a topic he knew inside out thanks to his previous marine biologist role. 

Following this, Josh has partnered with an international oil and gas company to deliver their new global commercial sustainability strategy. He is now working with a major soft drinks manufacturer to devise targets and data collection methods for their own waste collection. 

In less than 6 months, Josh has become the driving force behind the firm’s responsible business strategy practice and a key part of its connected consultancy offering, advising a fast growing number of clients eager for expert support.

Highly Commended: Data and Innovation in the Private sector with HSBC

The pressures of financial crime aren’t new, but they’re growing – and with them so is sanctions compliance. Sanctions compliance is vital for financial institutions in mitigating the risks of criminal liability, reputational damage and regulatory fines. Fines imposed for sanctions violations have exceeded $11billion globally over the last ten years. Over this time, complexity and regulatory scrutiny surrounding sanctions compliance have continued to increase.  

Unfortunately, the existing, heavily manual sanctions screening processes have changed little in the last 20 years and are struggling to cope with this growing demand and complexity. Traditional review and system-tuning methods have only mildly alleviated, not eliminated the problem.  

KPMG has developed a ground-breaking technology-enabled solution to help our clients. The KPMG Sanctions Alert Classifier uses supervised machine-learning to revolutionise the review process by automating first-level review decisions, improving accuracy and efficiency, while reducing cost. As such, it’s applicable to all banks and financial institutions involved in sanctions screening with high volumes of transactions whilst being transparent, regulator-friendly and completely auditable.   

The solution integrates seamlessly on top of any of our financial clients’ existing sanction screening systems with high volumes of transactions — supported by a dedicated team of KPMG experts and highly-experienced data scientists. Our customers now have a competitive advantage, reducing their costs while benefitting their own customers in turn.

Finalist: Best Use of Thought Leadership

It’s one of the most urgent environmental issues of our time. Cheap, durable and easy to use, plastic is everywhere in our daily lives – from plastic bottles and takeaway packaging, to clothes, cars, toys and the transportation of goods worldwide.

Yet there is now incontestable evidence that plastic – which never fully degrades – is wreaking havoc on the world’s fragile ecosystem. Pressure is quickly building on business to improve the sustainability of their goods and internal processes, but there is no fast-fix magic bullet solution.

Plastic cannot simply be banned overnight. And the alternatives – bioplastics, paper, glass and aluminium – come with environmental drawbacks of their own.

KPMG realised the debate needed less heat, more light. Our thought leadership To Ban or Not to Ban provides an evidence-based and impartial summary of the issues, drawing on the insights of numerous external and internal scientific experts.

Our goal was to provoke a meaningful debate between business, Government, activists and the wider public. The thought leadership has uncovered high levels of interest amongst both existing and new clients. The piece underlines KPMG’s credentials in the sustainably space and our ability to advise on the circular economy. On the back of the thought-leadership, we recently held a successful convening event to discuss practical ways forward, bringing together the debate’s major stakeholders across all interested sectors. We are now working on several live projects with clients around their use of plastic.

Highly commended: Change and Transformation in the Public sector with the Nursing & Midwifery Council

Over the past 5 years, England has experienced a growing shortage of nurses in the health and care workforce. One of the Department for Health and Social Care’s responses to this challenge was to develop a new health and care professional role in England (called ‘nursing associate’). They asked the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) to regulate the new profession, who in turn invited KPMG, a long-term adviser, to help the NMC to deliver a great project.

This new profession is designed to bridge the gap between healthcare assistants and registered nurses. Very much a profession in its own right, it also acts a stepping-stone to becoming a registered nurse — a way of increasing social mobility and improving access to a career in health and care, not least because a nursing associate qualification can be achieved via an apprenticeship.

For two years KPMG worked alongside the NMC. KPMG’s role was to help design and implement the regulation of this new profession, engaging with stakeholders to ensure the approach enabled nursing associates to smoothly enter the workforce. 

KPMG supported the NMC in setting the education standards and creating the suite of regulatory systems and processes needed to protect patients and service users. This included registration, revalidation of professional skills and ensuring fitness to practise processes are in place.

Thousands of students have begun training and with many more to be recruited during 2019. Already, there are over 1,000 nursing associates delivering care to patients across England.

By 2021, there are plans for approximately 15,000 nursing associates to be in the workforce in England – a major boost for the NHS and patients nationwide.