Gender Game Changers 2019 - Deloitte LLP

Winner of Business in the Community's Gender Game Changers Award 2019

Deloitte recognises the importance of providing an inclusive culture in order to attract and retain a diverse workforce. The firm has been particularly committed to Respect & Inclusion (R&I) since 2015 - ensuring that it provides a working environment where everyone can thrive, develop and succeed. Key to this has been a focus on both culture and leadership behaviours.

Since 2015, the professional services firm has rolled out mandatory R&I workshops to all partners, equipping them to deal with any behaviours that run counter to the firm’s values. The sessions – along with a wider focus on R&I - have helped to achieve a real cultural shift in the firm.
In addition to R&I training, the firm’s CEO David Sproul launched the organisation’s leadership behaviour charter in February 2017. The charter – a clear and simple statement of what is expected from everyone at Deloitte when it comes to the way people are led - was agreed by the Executive and underpinned by a sustained internal communications campaign, including personal stories of leadership from across all levels of the firm.

At Deloitte’s partner meeting in June 2018, all partners committed to be a “custodian of our culture” and to play their part in ensuring a respectful and inclusive environment at all times.

Mandatory 360 feedback for partners and directors has been introduced and is now conducted on an annual basis. The feedback is structured around the key people leadership behaviours and helps leaders to better understand both their strengths and areas for development.

Throughout 2017 and 2018, the firm has embedded leadership behaviours into the assessment criteria and tools for all leadership positions. A balanced scorecard for partner objectives also ensures that these behaviours are considered as part of senior leaders’ appraisals.

Embedding these behaviours into senior grade promotions also required a radical change – moving from a previous assessment centre style approach to an individualised development journey. With leadership behaviour at the forefront of future promotion decisions, Deloitte piloted its new approach in its consulting practice last year, with a firmwide rollout this year. The approach enhances the way it identifies and develops its high-potential senior managers and forms part of a broader total career path journey for them as they transition to the next grade.
This is achieved through:
  • identifying and developing candidates based on talent and potential alone
  • a positive candidate experience – ensuring transparency throughout the selection process and enabling candidates to flourish rather than focus on ‘performance on the day’
  • a strengths-based development process to get candidates ready for promotion. 
As part of its ongoing approach, Deloitte is currently rolling out new mandatory R&I digital learning and R&I workshops to partners and directors. It has embedded a new quarterly engagement survey and launched a new real-time feedback tool, providing leaders and employees with greater personal insight into the impact of their behaviour.
  • Deloitte recognises that sustained change takes time, but that they have seen a significant shift in culture over the past three years and in people’s recognition in the importance of R&I.
  • The impact on gender balance has also been evident. Female representation at partner level has increased from 14% in June 2014 to 19% in June 2018.
  • Changes to the promotion approach indicate an 8% increase (to 36%) in the proportion of female candidates identified for promotion to director this year.
  • The focus on leadership has also had an impact – the firm’s position in external benchmarks has risen with a clear correlation to the impact of an individual’s direct leader.
The information in this impact story has been supplied by Deloitte.