Big Four firm brings in more female partners, but is striving to improve its gender balance
KPMG HAS SWELLED its partner count by 52, with 29 promoted from within and some 23 externally, all appointed within the past financial year.
While the latest tranche of appointees – effective from October 1 – takes the total number of partners in the 11,500-strong firm to 613, less than one in five is female.
Simon Collins, UK chairman of KPMG, said: “This year’s new partner intake reflects our optimism for growth over the coming months and years ahead. Our new partners bring a wealth of experience, ranging from cyber security and talent management through to disruptive and innovative digital technologies.
“We continue to see high demand for our services from the wide range of businesses in the financial services industry and, accordingly, a third of our newly promoted partners are specialists in this sector. I am confident that this year’s partner appointments put us in a strong position to address the business issues and opportunities our clients want to tackle most.
Collins was quick to highlight that while just 15% of partners are female, “this is not where we want to be”.
“I am pleased that we have seen more than double the number of successful female partner candidates this year compared with 2013. A third of our newly promoted partners are women, which is a testament to a significant effort to remove any barriers to the best talent coming through the firm; whether this is through initiatives such as unconscious bias training, or actively encouraging a more inclusive culture where diverse talent can thrive.
“While we have seen results internally, there is more work to be done on our external hires, hence our introduction of assertive diversity benchmarking on all external agencies we use, to compare the level of diversity in the candidates they supply.”
In July, EY announced that it had appointed 68 equity partners to its UK business in the previous year, including 39 new admissions that month, taking its total UK partners to 628.
Of the 68 partners appointed over that time frame, 13 are women, while eight are black and minority ethnic (BME) taking the firm’s partner population to 17% female and 3% BME. More than 30% of EY’s leadership team are women.
KPMG said it was hiring more than 1,000 graduates and school leavers this year and is “striving to ensure we recruit from as diverse a pool as possible”. It pointed to its ‘STARs programme’ which has awarded nearly 100 school leavers from three East London boroughs – Tower Hamlets, Newham and Hackney, apprenticeships at the firm.