Bringing an entrepreneurial mindset to inclusion

Pauline Adam Kalfon, Consulting Partner and Chief Inclusion & Diversity Officer, PwC France and Maghreb.

Pauline joined PwC France ten years into her career as a Director and was immediately won over by the people she met and the sheer number of opportunities to create and make an impact. This perfectly aligned with her entrepreneurial mindset and love of transformation. 

Over a decade into her PwC journey, she’s found that the opportunities to drive transformation are limitless. Some of the most exciting ones are those she tackles with her clients (Pauline became a partner in 2018) and as the Inclusion & Diversity (I&D) Leader for PwC France and Magreb. While PwC has always had a culture of diversity, she’s seen that culture grow and evolve in her time at the firm. Some of it is also driven by compliance, as France enforces strict regulations in terms of gender diversity and disability inclusion. For Pauline, though, the force for change is much greater than that. I&D is important, quite simply, because it’s right and fair -- and it’s also key to unlocking the performance and creativity of PwC’s community of solvers.

Pauline sees a handful of initiatives as central to shaping the I&D experience in PwC France. First is providing role models who represent various dimensions of diversity -- gender, LGBT+, disability, cultural background, etc. They are key to changing mindsets and influencing the way people see diversity, especially when those role models are in leadership positions. Second is allyship. Pauline feels strongly that diversity is not the concern of a few of us. It's a question of respecting the differences of everyone and standing up. Allies stand up when they see bias or behaviour that jeopardises a culture of inclusion. Third is sponsorship. She describes this as making it the business of senior people to see that all solvers have a direct path for their career, and have equal opportunities to advance. All of this sits on the foundation of PwC’s values and leadership framework, which provide a common ground upon which a culture of inclusion is built.

“I'd like people to see that we have the willingness, and we do everything we can, to have a massive transformation within PwC. But it doesn’t end there, we’re also helping to have a massive transformation outside PwC. We are achieving progress, but recognise we have more to achieve.”

While committing to I&D is crucial to creating an environment where everyone at PwC can thrive, Pauline believes the impact of this commitment extends well beyond the firm. PwC France and Magreb’s first Inclusion Day is a perfect example of this. By bringing together everyone, from top management to trainees, the firm spent a day together focusing on inclusion. The highlight of the day was a hackathon for the firm’s solvers. Teams worked together to find solutions to problems submitted by two nonprofit organisations that work in the I&D space, from Maghreb and France. Pauline remembers the solvers’ palpable energy and pride throughout the day with teams focused on making concrete solutions to solve these important problems. The work doesn’t end on Inclusion Day. The PwC France team is working to bring the winning hackathon ideas to fruition, and follow their implementation.

By bringing together her two areas of passion, creativity and transformation, Pauline is able to make an impact both at PwC and in the wider community. She’s energised by the progress made so far and looks forward to the next opportunities to advance PwC’s commitment to I&D.

Diversity expands beyond her everyday life at work, to her everyday life at home. Her family lunches with her parents, brother’s family and her own immediate family represent the diverse cultures of Spanish, Chinese, Tunisian and French cultures. It is these moments she treasures most, her favourite hobby being to have fun with family and friends.

LIGHTNING ROUND: quick questions and quick answers

From your experience, how do you sum up Inclusion & Diversity at PwC?

Massive transformation. 

What should others know about PwC’s commitment to Inclusion & Diversity?

It is important for three reasons: first is because it is fair, second is for regulatory reasons and third is to fuel performance.

Pauline Adam-Kalfon
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