Diversity and inclusion

Agnès Hussherr:
Piloting new approaches to diversity and inclusion


PwC people involved in community activities


hours of professional services and skilled volunteering

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Of further interest

At PwC, we’re committed to helping our people – with all of their varied backgrounds and experiences – to build a rewarding career and achieve their full potential. While we continue to make progress, we constantly strive to increase the pace of change to maximise the diverse talents of our whole workforce.

To this end, we conducted a detailed diagnosis in FY 2013, which comprised data analysis, interviews with our people, a review of human capital processes and training programmes. This work led to a refreshed view and to the definition of new priorities and milestones.

While leadership diversity remains the strategic priority, we have broadened our focus to every stage of the career ladder. To drive momentum, we must develop diverse junior talent for future leadership roles. A good example is that 44% of our long-term international assignees below manager grade are now female. But we must do more.

We are focused on developing leadership accountability for diversity, an inclusive culture and awareness of issues that often get overlooked. To foster awareness of this commitment, Bob Moritz, senior partner of PwC US, held a conversation on these issues (livestreamed worldwide) with Sheryl Sandberg, COO Facebook and author of ‘Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead’ (see www.pwc.com/Leanin).

And we marked International Women’s Day this year with the theme ‘Gender, generation, and leadership: supporting the millennial woman craft her career’, launching a number of events and resources in collaboration with external thought leader Dr. Elisabeth Kelan.

We have also identified, and shared with all our member firms, successful initiatives and actions that have resulted in more diverse leadership at PwC.

Progress is being made:

  • Good news for diversity at the top: 23%, 28%, 27% and 33% of leadership teams are women in PwC Australia, PwC Canada, PwC UK and PwC US, respectively
  • 51% of global graduate hires this year were female
  • 74% (up 2% from last year) of our people believe PwC is an inclusive work environment
  • During FY 2013, 34% of participants in our global leadership development programme – Genesis Park – were women
  • Female leaders consistently cite a mobility experience as one of their top-three developmental milestones. Globally, 36% of our talent deployed on long-term international assignments were women (Tax led the way, with women making up 41% of all long-term and 52% of short-term international assignments)
  • In PwC UK, 14,000 partners and staff have completed ‘Open Minds’, a diversity e-learning programme. Launched in March, this helps participants recognise issues that can arise in their relationships and acknowledge situations where they could be more tolerant of differences

Role models

  • PwC Australia’s John Walsh played a pivotal role in the development of the National Disability Insurance Scheme with the Australian government, which went live on 1 July 2013
  • PwC Canada’s Susan Allen was named 2013 Business Leader Champion by Catalyst
  • PwC UK’s Celine Herweijer was named a 2013 World Economic Forum Young Global Leader and Claire Blackburn made the 2013 Sunday Times 35 women under-35 list
  • In the 2013 World Pride Power List, PwC UK’s Andy Woodfield was named one of the Top 100 influential LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) people in the world
  • Maria Moats, PwC US’s Chief Diversity Officer, received the Association of Latino Professionals in Finance and Accounting (ALPFA) Woman of the Year award. ALPFA is dedicated to enhancing opportunities for Latinos in the global workforce
  • PwC US’s Patricia Etzold received Consulting magazine’s ‘Women Leaders in Consulting’ award for her outstanding achievements in client service
  • PwC Mexico’s Patricia Gonzalez and PwC China’s Nora Wu were elected to the PwC Global Board
  • This year, two PwC firms appointed women to their local territory leadership teams for the first time: Petra Justenhoven (PwC Germany) and Julie Fitzgerald (PwC Switzerland)

Working with governments and society to achieve ‘green growth’

Definitions of ‘green growth’ vary, but it is commonly understood as an approach to achieving economic growth goals in a way that is environmentally sustainable and socially inclusive.

In a number of countries, PwC firms are helping governments and institutions achieve their own ‘green growth’ ambitions. For example we’re working with the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI), an international organisation that started out of Korea in 2010, to promote green growth based on its own local experience.

Two recent examples are our work with the leadership of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on their National Strategy for Green Growth, and with the Indonesian government on finding greener ways to accelerate economic development and attract Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) finance.

United Arab Emirates

The UAE has seen remarkable growth and development in the past decade. Its population has doubled since 2005 and new skyscrapers now adorn cities where there was recently only desert. The country’s leadership has sought to maintain this progress by outlining their vision for an innovative economy, a cohesive society and a sustainable environment.

To help turn this vision into reality, a combined PwC UK, PwC UAE and GGGI team in Abu Dhabi has spent the past year working with the UAE’s government to develop a National Strategy for Green Growth. The strategy articulates the costs and benefits of going green and how this will catalyse further growth in the UAE.

The strategy articulates the costs and benefits of going green and how this will catalyse further growth in the UAE. It also examines further benefits such as the creation of new economic clusters, conservation of natural resources, improvements in skills and social advancement.

The PwC people on the project include engineers, economists and other green growth experts from the UK and UAE who, in conjunction with the GGGI team, are delivering world-class analytical methods, effective project management and valuable policy advice to respond to the needs of the UAE government in delivering this high-profile strategy.


Another country where we’re working with GGGI is Indonesia. This is a nation at a turning point in its development: it needs to grow its economy and reduce inequality, but at the same time detach itself from its traditional economic engines of mining and forestry.

Indonesia’s President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono is aiming to put the country among the world’s top ten advanced economies by 2025 and top six by 2050. To achieve this, he’s laid out a masterplan to remove barriers to business by linking the country’s islands through vast infrastructure projects. However, the risk is that this plan will open up the country’s beautiful natural environment to exploitation.

A combined PwC UK, PwC Indonesia and GGGI team is helping the Indonesian government examine green alternatives to the projects in the masterplan, applying principles based on preserving natural capital, improving resilience, building local economies, and being inclusive and equitable.

For example, the PwC team has forestry experts supporting the implementation of REDD+ and is working across provinces to truly understand the variety of activities and opportunities that exist. The aim is to enable Indonesia to achieve its economic growth and equality goals in a way that will last from generation to generation, by harnessing the country’s entrepreneurial spirit while preserving its natural resources.

Contributing to the UN’s post-2015 development agenda


Over the past three years, PwC firms have been working with clients who are grappling with the challenge of meeting the demands of a dramatically different world with increasingly scarce resources and how to achieve their business growth ambitions, but not at any price. ‘Good’ growth is in everyone’s interest so how can a business identify what ‘good' growth looks like? And, more to the point, how to create it?

Through insights gained from this work, PwC has developed Total Impact Measurement & Management (TIMM), a new framework for strategic decision-making which enables businesses to develop a better understanding of the social, tax, environmental and economic impacts of their activities while making a profit.

In recognition of PwC’s position as leaders in total impact measurement, we were the only professional services network to publically share our expertise with the United Nations (UN) High Level Panel on the post-2015 Millennium Development Goals. PwC’s contributions will help develop the thinking around the use of impact measurement, and, in particular, understanding the private sector’s role in achieving the post-2015 goals.

Contributing our skills and knowledge as part of the solution to critical issues like total impact measurement is an important part of our network corporate responsibility strategy. Through our work with clients and our thought leadership, we aim to be a catalyst for change by leading the debate on how total impact measurement can help identify ‘good growth’ opportunities that benefit all stakeholders.

What is total impact measurement and management?

TIMM enables management to compare strategies and make business decisions (e.g. investment choices) based on a better understanding of the impacts of their activities on all stakeholders.

TIMM puts a value (positive or negative) on 20 impacts across society, tax, economics and the environment, and gives business the ability to compare and evaluate the total impact. Being able to measure, understand and compare the trade-offs between different options means decisions can be made with more complete knowledge of the overall impact they will have and a better understanding of which stakeholders will be affected.

For example, consider the hypothetical example of a brewery in Africa faced with the choice between importing raw materials or growing them locally. Which is better?

The diagram below illustrates the trade-offs if the brewery took the decision to grow raw materials locally resulting in significant community benefits such as employment and improved health, but also increased water use in an area suffering from water scarcity (to consider just a few of the possible impact areas). The size of the bars signifies the relative impact, green being positive and red negative.

TIMM diagram

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Agnès Hussherr: piloting new approaches to diversity and inclusion

Agnès Hussherr
...a tremendously exciting challenge
Agnès Hussherr France

Since her appointment as PwC’s Global Diversity Leader in July 2013, Agnès Hussher has focused on strengthening PwC’s diversity network. By empowering and having the strong support of country Diversity Leaders in the larger PwC firms, she’s driving greater commitment to making change happen at a local level – something she hopes will result in diversity being reflected organisation-wide and a more inclusive culture.

It’s a big job, but one she appears to balance effortlessly with the other two ‘hats’ she wears – as partner in the Assurance practice and Transformation Leader for PwC France. And she’s also the mother of three.

Achieving equilibrium is something Agnès knows all about. Having qualified as a pilot three years ago, she relishes the opportunity to unwind high above the French countryside: “It’s been a childhood dream ever since I came across a book on famous female pilots when I was 14”, Agnès says.

Her attitude embraces work and personal commitments: “I don’t think we should see it as ‘work/life balance’ – this gives it a negative connotation, as if work and private life are in conflict” she says. “We need to look at it as ‘work/life integration’…a bit like the yin and yang symbol, where work and private life are in harmony and function well together.”

Agnès has already helped to increase the proportion of female partners at PwC France. Now she’s been given the opportunity to raise her sights to PwC firms around the world.

Bernice Kimacia (Rwanda): Blazing a trail for PwC – and for women – in Africa

Bernice Kimacia
...what I enjoy most is developing the potential of my team
Bernice Kimacia Rwanda

Three years ago, Bernice Kimacia was offered the chance to move to Rwanda to set up PwC Rwanda’s new office in Kigali. After 20 years with PwC, including five on secondment in London and six as a partner in Kenya, she jumped at the opportunity.

“It was a tremendously exciting challenge,” she recalls. “Working at PwC, you often take for granted what it takes to run an office. But starting from scratch, resourcing the staff, setting up the systems – these were all things I’d never done before.”

Events since then suggest she did a pretty good job. Starting with 13 people in 2010, the office is now approaching 70-strong and has become the leading professional services firm in Rwanda.

Alongside running PwC’s presence, Bernice also focuses on two other priorities. One is supporting the development of Rwanda’s professional services market, and thereby its wider economy. The other is helping women working for PwC in the region realise their full potential, by mentoring them and sharing her own experiences.

“Like many firms, we recruit an equal balance of men and women, but by partnership level the proportion of women is very low,” she comments. “It’s sad to see women dropping out when there’s often no need – and my career story can encourage them to stay.”

Looking forward, Bernice aims to grow the Rwandan office into a stable, mid-sized PwC presence, before moving on to another role in the PwC network. “What I enjoy most is developing the potential of my team,” she says. “And I’ll enjoy doing that anywhere in the world.”