Gender Equality Awards 2016: Inclusive Leader Award: People Manager - KPMG

Sam West, Resourcing Director

Award Type: 

Sam joined KPMG in 2014 and manages a team of 13 Resourcing Managers and Advisers, coordinating and building client teams to work on client projects that the firm secures. She is aware of her team’s diversity profile but also what motivates each of them, their career aspirations and development plans.

Sam provides inclusive leadership across the Resourcing team and the wider Management Consultancy part of the business. She leads by example, promotes diversity and inclusion in her work, and walks the talk of KPMG’s values. For Sam, demonstrating inclusive leadership and role model behaviours are crucial in enabling people to reach their full potential across KPMG. 

Sam ensures the diversity of client teams is addressed where possible and regularly challenges decisions made in resourcing meetings to reduce unconscious bias. She encourages her team to promote diverse teams, flexible working and transitioning working parents back to client sites, using inclusive language with Client Engagement managers and encouraging a more creative approach. 

Sam consistently demonstrates openness and honesty to her team, with peers and the Executive Committee, and champions the importance of diversity and inclusion, such as by asking the D&I team to deliver unconscious bias training across Resourcing in Management Consulting and speaking about the importance of D&I to the business and herself. She also demonstrates authentic leadership by providing a safe environment for all team members to propose new approaches. Her effective style for building relationships and engaging at all levels has led to culture change within the team.

Sam encourages agile working, which she regularly role models herself, and has challenged colleagues’ concerns around home working. This has led to a change in approach and resulted in all employees within her team being able to work from home.

Sam makes career development for her C and D grade employees a priority. She gives team members time and permission to develop new ideas and approaches, and provides a pack consisting of the range of training programmes available for D grade employees within Management Consultancy developed by her managers.

Since Sam started managing the team there have been significantly higher levels of retention, which team members attribute to Sam’s inclusive leadership style. The team is motivated and keen and driven to champion diverse and inclusive client facing teams. This year three women in the Resourcing team have progressed from grade C to B, one of whom was coached by Sam to get her to ‘ready to promote’ stage. The Resourcing team has also seen a 60% increase in ‘Encore’ awards within the business, which recognise excellent work. This reflects the positive impact Sam is having on the team’s performance and the feedback received.