Deloitte UK has promoted 80 new partners, including 24 women. The firm, like many across the industry, is seeking to improve its diversity figures to access a seam of high-calibre talent as well as improve its overall business performance.
In recent years, substantial efforts have been initiated to increase the representation of different genders, as well as different ethnicities, at the top of businesses. Many industries in the UK have continued to keep high levels of particularly white males in their leadership. Recent studies have found that homogeneity may be bad for business, with UK FTSE350 companies losing up to $14 billion in revenues.
To improve diversity within companies, a range of studies and programmes have been introduced, from those helping women back to work, to those supporting family life. Some consulting firms themselves have also sought to investigate and improve their often poor numbers regarding diversity, with Accenture for instance deciding to release its diversity figures in detail.
Deloitte UK too is working on the issues, albeit slowly. The firm recently promoted 80 new partners: the consulting service line added 24 new partners, financial advisory saw 20 partner promotions, and audit & risk advisory 18, while tax 17 and the firm’s internal client services added 1 new partner to its leadership ranks.
Of the 80 new partners positions, 24 went to women. The number of women promotions is up slightly on 2015, when 29% were female, and up substantially on 2014 when just 20% were female. The firm has also sought to increase diversity more broadly, with 10% of new partners being non-white – although this is still below the 13% of the population who identified as being non-white in the 2011 census. Figures surrounding the social mobility of applicants has not been disclosed.
Overall, however, the firm has a long way to go to reach parity in either diversity category. In terms of women partners, as it stands 16% are female, up from 15% last year – and a long way from the between 40-50% defined as parity. In terms of ethnic diversity, the current group of partners is only 4% non-white, suggesting that there too a lot more can be done.
The firm has a number of programmes in place to improve the number of people from a diverse background entering the pipeline, as well as climbing in the ranks. These include programmes targeting more women, ethnic diversity and social mobility.
David Sproul, Senior Partner and Chief Executive of Deloitte UK, says: “Today’s announcement represents another positive year for partner promotions, reflecting the continued success of the firm despite uncertain economic conditions. We have seen a second consecutive year of strong female representation amongst Deloitte’s new partners. Achieving greater gender diversity is a clear business imperative and these promotions evidence the success of the range of initiatives we have put in place.”