Diversity delivers.

Pricewaterhouse Coopers is the worlds second largest professional services firm, employing 161,000 people in 757 cities across 154 countries.  Despite its global reach, only 14% of its Partners are women.

They want to change this to better represent the diverse nature of customers they represent and people they employ.  Chairman Ian Powell is reported as wanting to set an “aspirational goal” of 40% to 50% of partners “being women or from other under – represented groups, such as ethnic minorities.  Good for him.


What encourages me most about the way this is being reported is the fact that reference is made to this not being about “quotas”.  This isn’t about political correctness, this is about recognising that talent is not defined by gender or ethnicity.  Talent is always in demand and always in short supply, regardless of the economic cycle.  If you want the very best for your organisation, why restrict that which from you select to half the population?

I don’t want quotas, or for that matter positive discrimination.  I want to able to judge everyone purely on merit.  I want to hire the very best talent I can attract within the budget that is available to me.  That should be the case for all hiring, if you want your organisation to flourish.

All the research I’ve ever read on the subject of hiring evidences the more diverse your board, your leadership group, your managers, the better performing, more productive, profitable, sustainable, successful your business will be.  This is about applying best practice in your hiring.  I applaud PwC for taking these steps, I look forward to seeing them deliver.  Not only great news for their employers, but frankly their customers.

Lord Davies take note, quotas are not the way to encourage behaviour along these lines.   Education is the answer.  Keep getting the message across that you can greatly impact your bottom line by attracting a diverse range of talent to your business.  Give business the evidence, the case studies, the facts and keep giving it.  Diversity delivers.  It is a positive message we would all be well served to heed.



Filed under Hiring

4 responses to “Diversity delivers.

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Diversity delivers. | The Recruiters Little Black Book -- Topsy.com

  2. My goodness where are the world-class HR practices? What education are they giving?

    Diversity means much more than hiring women. Although they clearly have a problem.

    I am sure when they really dive into their database hey will find much more in terms of what diversity really means!

    They say they need positive discrimination!

    Another sign that their HR activities need serious overhauling.

    Where are their HR and recruitment processes? Do they have an inclusive recruitment team? I could go on but oh my it is 2011 and we still have this narrow definition.
    I wonder what their customers will say?

  3. Hi Peter, as always your contribution and comments are much appreciated. I agree that diversity is so much more than the narrow definition here. The fact that we are still having to debate it says much about prevailing attitudes. How can we change them?

    In my view quotas simply won’t work. Education and time is key. We have a generation of tomorrow’s leaders who thankfully are far more open to diversity ( in fact in many cases simply don’t see it ).

    As each generation passes, such dated attitudes will wane. It’s a shame that they should have to, as you say its 2011! If however I think back to how attitudes have changed in the workplace, indeed society in the last 20 years I have been in the workplace then I am hopeful that the future looks much brighter when it comes to organisations truly reflecting the multi – cultural, globalised world of work in which we live.

  4. Well its the old adage if the people do not change change the people.
    This is not a good reflection on PW. What would I do. Get the HR folk in a room and get them to understand the changing demographics and how that not only impacts what the customer wants but the new dimensions of the future workforce!

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