BIG FOUR firm PwC has promoted a record number of partners for the third year in a row, as its UK arm looks to increase diversity and female employees at partner level.
The professional service firm has promoted 61 equity partners, the third successive year the firm has increased its new partner numbers.
Diverse range of backgrounds
Aged between 32 and 51, PwC claims that the new partners “represent a diverse range of backgrounds, skills and experience” with more women, flexible workers and people based in regions outside of London (45% of new partner group) promoted into senior positions.
Nearly three-in-ten (28%) of the new partners are female, up from 23% last year, while 40% of the newly promoted directors are female, up from 30% last year. This follows repeated calls from outgoing chairman Ian Powell to increase gender diversity within the firm. The outgoing chairman is a keen advocate of increasing the number of female partners at the firm.
PwC now has 174 female equity partners, more than any other professional services firm.
As well as promoting partners from within the firm, PwC has recruited 27 partners from outside its employee pool over the past 12 months, nine more than the previous year.
PwC has made a number of changes to its staff in recent weeks, having promoted Andrew Kail to leader of its UK financial services practice, while incoming chairman Kevin Ellis unveiled a shake up to PwC’s UK executive board.
‘Vital to our future success’
Commenting on the statistics, Ian Powell, outgoing chairman and senior partner at PwC said: “For a third successive year we have increased the number of new partners and have continued to improve the diversity of our senior people. These promotions reflect the importance we place on diversity, the role of the regions to the UK’s economic success and our commitment to investing in our people across all our client services.”
Kevin Ellis, incoming chairman and senior partner, is looking to capitalise on Powell’s work to develop “a diverse and inclusive partnership”, as he explained that building on recent progress “will be vital to our future success”.
As well as making promotions at partner-level, PwC is also committed to nurturing young talent within the professional services sector.
The Big Four firm says it will take on more than “1,500 graduates and around 170 school leavers” in 2016, by adopting new approaches to its recruitment, as its set to become the first major employer to remove UCAS points as a graduate entry criteria, as well as offer the first Higher Apprenticeship in professional services. Since 2012, the firm has hired over 500 higher apprentices.
PwC recently faced a setback in its bid to present itself as a diverse and modern place to work, after a receptionist was sent home for failing to wear heels.
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