Equality drives innovation. At Accenture, together 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). 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 over the past year, it’s imperative that we continue to strive for workplace equality. Read more.

By ensuring inclusion alongside diversity, businesses increase productivity. Accepting people for who they are and letting them be themselves, 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 technology workforce but in our benefits too. As part of our 2025 gender commitment, we offer all our people, male and female alike, 32 weeks of fully paid parental leave.

"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."

— 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. Mental health is something that affects us all and, 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

Our support networks in the UK

At Accenture, we strive to support each other as true allies.

That’s why we’ve pioneered a series of networks that support our people and channel insights from their lived experience to our leaders, central functions and HR 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 is a crucial visible presence that was founded to support our LGBTQ+ colleagues with possibly unseen challenges. Accent on Gender helps women and men drive change and work together towards gender equality. 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.

1. Gender

Taking on the gender imbalance means looking holistically at the issue in order to fix the system.

We achieve results by combining external best practices with internal data-driven insight and real leadership accountability. Monthly scorecards combined with digital insight tools help us monitor recruitment, retention and progression.

We overhauled our recruitment strategy to ensure we have a strong pipeline of female talent at all levels, from graduates to managing directors. We encourage women to return to work after a career break, provide flexible working arrangements and offer Shared Parental Leave. We invest in, support and mentor women through programmes such as our Accent on Gender network.


Female U.K. recruits in 2020, 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)

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Retaining talent at all levels

“Accenture was very proactive in making sure I didn’t get left behind in my career.” 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.

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2. Ethnicity

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 together were determined to change this and set targets 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 participated in Accelerate


Black headcount growth in five years


of FY20 new joiners were Black, Asian, or from other ethnic minorities

Taking action

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. In the U.K. we will increase the representation of our Black colleagues to 7% of our workforce, from 4% (420 in FY20). We will also double the number of our Black managing directors (eight in FY20). We have a dedicated Ethnicity Executive Sponsor to ensure that we continue to shine an important light on ethnicity, focus on increasing our ethnic and racial development and representation across all levels of our organisation.


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

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Accenture and MOBO team up to inspire Black creatives

MOBOLISE, a digital tool tailored for Black creatives, will provide new opportunities through learning, skill-sharing and networking. Read more.

Guiding others: Oluchi Ikechi

“There was definitely this element of getting to know more people who are from the same background as me.” Read more.

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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 helped co-found in 2013. We’ve committed to providing up to 100 Movement to Work placements each year to support people from under-represented backgrounds.

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.

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4. Enablement

Inclusive work cultures enable everyone to thrive. We are committed to empowering people with disabilities and removing barriers around issues that affect us all, like mental health.

Through our Enablement Project, we’ve worked on improving how we support our disabled colleagues. One of the innovations generated from the project is The Enablement Passport, a tool that explores the day of an Accenture employee to help identify what support our people need to thrive.

Our research shows that nearly nine in ten 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 2,670 of our people, or 26% 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: When words fall short

“A key factor in my joining Accenture was the Mental Health Allies programme and that people were openly talking about mental health.”


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Video: Mental Health Allies

“I want to be a person that people know they can go to.” Watch now.

Spotlighting ability

“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.

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As part of our ambition to be the most inclusive organisation in the world, we created the LGBTQ+ Allies programme.

We have 3,996 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.”


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50 years of Pride

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.

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The honesty of our Inclusion Starts With I video sparked discussion across the business community, becoming a benchmark for what inclusion looks like.
Watch now
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