Equality drives innovation. At Accenture, we’re constantly seeking new ideas, new solutions, new perspectives. Diversity of thought and diversity of lived experiences are crucial to unlocking new value. This is how we generate new thinking faster and come up with innovative solutions for our clients. We benefit from the diversity of our team every day. That’s why a key lever for our growth strategy is to achieve gender parity by 2025 (with women making up 30% of our managing directors globally). We’re also committed to taking action around ethnicity to ensure greater equality and increase representation across our business (with black colleagues currently making up 4% of our workforce in the U.K. and Ireland).
By ensuring inclusion alongside diversity, businesses increase productivity. People being their true selves frees them to focus on performing and allows them to thrive.
Equality is non-negotiable. We are absolutely opposed to discrimination based on ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, disability or any other dimension of diversity. We want to be a catalyst for positive change and that starts with building the world’s most inclusive and diverse team.
We are dedicated to fixing gender imbalances not only in the workforce but in our benefits too. As part of our 2025 gender commitment, we offer all our people up to 32 weeks of fully-paid maternity, adoption and shared parental leave. Our own research shows that COVID-19 has had a dramatic negative impact on diversity, significantly widening the gender-inequality gap and potentially adding 51 years to the time it will take to achieve parity. As we take stock of the pandemic’s toll, it’s imperative that we continue to strive for workplace equality. Read more.
"By ensuring inclusion alongside diversity, businesses increase productivity. People being their true selves, frees them to focus on performing and allows them to thrive."
— CANDIDA MOTTERSHEAD, HR Director, U.K. and Ireland
Through the “Enablement Project”, we are looking at how we can better support our colleagues with disabilities. We’re also committed to removing barriers that affect us all: through our support network of Mental Health Allies, we’re encouraging our people to talk openly so we can support each other.
Many organisations continue to struggle to meet inclusion and diversity targets. At Accenture, inclusion and diversity are the guiding principles that have unlocked new value for us as a company and as we close in on reaching our goals, we are proud to be working with clients and suppliers to help them meet theirs.
— Candida Mottershead, HR Director, U.K. and Ireland
At Accenture, we strive to support each other as true allies.
That’s why we’ve pioneered a series of support networks for our people, using insights from their lived experience to drive positive change. These networks have even inspired some of our clients and partners to start similar employee groups of their own.
Our Pride at Accenture network assists our LGBTQ+ colleagues with possibly unseen challenges. Accent on Gender helps women and men drive change and work together towards gender equality. Accent on Enablement raises awareness of both visible and invisible disabilities to foster a safe workplace. Accent on Family offers support for life events like becoming a parent, bereavement, adoption and fertility treatment. Meanwhile, our Mental Health Allies network is a trained group of ambassadors and trusted “go-to” resources for people seeking support or information.
Watch the video and find out what impact means to our network leads in the U.K.
As the UK economy rebounds from the Covid-19 pandemic, we plan to create 3,000 new technology jobs in the U.K. over the next three years. Half of these will be based outside London, expanding Accenture’s presence in Newcastle, Manchester, Leeds and Edinburgh. The new roles will encompass services in platforms, cloud engineering, cybersecurity, data and intelligent operations.
This boost to our U.K. workforce further underlines our importance in the U.K.’s technology ecosystem, and follows four acquisitions we made earlier in 2021: cloud and digital transformation consultancy Infinity Works; SAP partner Edenhouse; leadership and talent consultancy Cirrus; and retail technology and supply chain consultancy REPL Group. Read more.
When we think about gender diversity, we mustn’t ignore any of the changes our people experience.
Around a quarter of people who experience menopause symptoms consider quitting their job. At Accenture, we’re working to reduce that number by providing better access to healthcare support and resources. This is just one of the ways we hope to achieve a 50-50 gender balance in the company by 2025.
Taking on the gender imbalance means looking holistically at the issue in order to fix the system. Monthly scorecards combined with digital-insight tools help us monitor recruitment, retention and progression. We encourage our people to return to work after a career break, provide flexible working arrangements, and offer shared parental leave. We have a strong pipeline of female talent at all levels, from graduates to managing directors, and we invest in, support and mentor women through programmes such as our Accent on Gender network.
female U.K. and Ireland recruitment mix in FY21, with the U.K. recruitment mix at 41.3%, up from 36% in 2015
U.K. MD promotions were women in 2019, up from 24% in 2015
U.K. employees have taken shared parental leave since 2015
Providing menopause healthcare for all
“The more everyone is aware of these issues, the less scary it will be to access the help you need.” Read more.
Rebalancing work and family
Sam Jackson saw shared parental leave as an opportunity to be a more involved father and husband—and to challenge a few stigmas. Read more.
Our Getting to Equal research found that workplaces with cultures of equality help everyone advance to higher positions and are powerful multipliers of innovation and growth.
In 2015, we recognised our Black employee representation was less than the national census data and negligible at the leadership level. And only 5.6% of our new joiners were Black. Teams across Accenture were determined to change this together and set goals for the recruitment, retention and development of Black employees. Working with the Accenture African Caribbean Network, we went on to create Accelerate, a data-driven, insight-led, highly collaborative programme for supporting and promoting future Black leaders.
Black employees have participated in Accelerate from FY18-FY21
Black headcount growth in five years
of our new joiners in FY21 were Black, Asian or from other ethnic minorities
We are deepening our commitments to equality and justice for all, with zero tolerance for racism, bigotry and hate of any kind. This means introducing mandatory training to identify and speak up about racism, and community investments that will help drive change. We will increase the representation of our Black colleagues to 7% of our workforce by December 2025, from 4% (465 in FY21). We will also double the number of our Black managing directors to 16 (eight when the goal was set in October 2020). Historically, businesses have launched Black leadership programmes that focus on talent. But that’s not the whole picture. We launched Engage to support the overall journey. Black talent, their line managers and senior sponsors have embarked together to understand the challenges Black colleagues face so we can create a more inclusive culture that allows everyone to thrive.
Taking further action around inclusion
“We developed Engage to improve Black representation and transform Accenture’s culture so that everyone can thrive.” Read more.
Don’t miss the talent in front of you
“Trying to find your feet and find a role isn't easy. It's something that we need to do collaboratively.” Read more.
3. Social mobility
We want to accelerate equality and create a workplace where everyone feels they belong and are in a position to achieve their full potential.
This means continuously evolving the way we recruit to better identify talent from more diverse backgrounds, and ensuring we provide the right support to stimulate individual growth. We also contribute to social mobility in wider society, for example, by creating opportunities through programmes such as Movement to Work, which Accenture co-founded in 2013. We’ve committed to providing up to 100 Movement to Work placements each year to support people from under-represented backgrounds. Our position in the Social Mobility Employer Index has risen significantly from 34th (in 2019) to 22nd (in 2020) and now 7th in 2021.
Using tech and design to overcome bias
Accenture’s early talent recruitment team is using leading-edge technology to see human potential more clearly. Read more.
From estate block to coder: Skills open new routes
Skills to Succeed Academy helped Michelle O’Neill see her potential, then a Movement to Work programme set her on the path to a tech career. Read more.
Training alternatives unlock new talent
Rob O’Connor is working on projects that apply technology to help communities. Read more.
Inclusive work cultures enable everyone to thrive. We are committed to empowering people with disabilities and mental health concerns to remove any barriers around issues that affect us all.
We’ve worked on improving how we support our people with disabilities. One of the innovations generated from our work is The Enablement Passport, a tool that explores the day of an Accenture employee to help identify what support our people need to thrive. It is supported by our Adjustment Request Tool, through which any employee with disabilities can easily ask for the adjustments they need, such as assistive technology, flexible work arrangements, sign language interpreters, screen readers and more.
Our research shows that nearly nine in 10 people are affected by mental health issues, much higher than the commonly cited figure of one in four. As part of our well-being initiatives, our team created the Mental Health Allies programme–training 2,651 of our people, or 22% of our U.K. workforce to be “go to” resources for support.
Accent on Enablement network members support our people with a disability to perform at their best
of U.K. workforce trained as Mental Health Allies
Mental Health Awareness Week
For Mental Health Awareness Week 2022, three of our people shared their mental health stories, revealing how they found a sense of Belonging and Connecting through the Mental Health Allies network, which has grown to 3,5000 people in the UK and Ireland since launching in 2015. In previous years, some of our people's inspiring stories were brought to life by Giulia Sagramola in the form of two mini graphic novels, The Power of Sharing and The Art of Kindness, showing the different ways we offer support to those affected by mental health issues.
By sharing a mental health training course with clients like Mondelēz, Accenture helps companies support their employees. Watch now.
“Accenture came along and suddenly the whole outlook was very different–their approach was ‘just tell us what you need, and we’ll accommodate you’.” Read more.
As part of our ambition to be the most inclusive organisation in the world, we created the LGBTQ+ Allies programme.
We have 5,802 LGBTQ+ Allies. The programme offers tools and resources to create a workplace where employees can perform at their full potential. Accenture mentors a number of FTSE 250 companies to help them grow their own networks.
Accenture regularly presents at LGBTQ+ conferences in the U.K. and Europe, promoting the value that diversity brings to business and coaching managers on how to lead diverse teams. We encourage our people to bring their personality, humanity and sensitivity to everything we do. We believe to be your best you need the freedom to be your authentic self.
The freedom to be your best
“When people are open about themselves, they open up their minds.”
Celebrating 50 years of turning countless moments into historic opportunities. Watch now.
How we can be better, more inclusive, allies
Accenture’s Further Together commitment celebrates the LGBTQ+ community marching alongside Black communities. Read more.
Bringing our identities to work
In our ID Hub, we tap into the power of stories to help employees connect the philosophical ideal of diversity with the lived experience of inclusion. The hub gathers together videos, blog posts, and photographs contributed by Accenture employees with stories to tell about identity and why it matters. In partnership with Yemeni photographer, artist, and refugee Thana Faroq, the first-person narratives explore the idea of what it means to feel a sense of belonging from diverse perspectives.
The hub also provides data, practical tools, and recordings from live events that can help everyone take meaningful action. For example, one report details progress on Accenture’s efforts to achieve gender parity by 2025. In doing so, we believe we’ll be better equipped to harness the power of technology and human ingenuity for the benefit of everyone—not just the dominant culture.