There is no doubt that this past year has been a challenging one for people everywhere. And that matters to us - because at PwC, our people are at the heart of everything we do. We currently have more than 295,000 professionals in 156 countries and, as part of our commitment to our new strategy, The New Equation, we plan to hire 100,000 net new professionals by 2026.
This makes it vital that our “people first” approach continues to guide our actions, as it has done over the past year. During it, we’ve remained focused on keeping our people safe, supporting their wellbeing, providing them with the flexibility they need to manage the often-competing demands of professional and personal lives, offering them opportunities to develop new skills, and continuing to build a diverse and inclusive workforce.
To deliver The New Equation, we are focusing on three key areas:
Enabling our workforce for today’s realities and tomorrow’s possibilities
Creating a resilient foundation for times of change
Developing inclusive leaders for a shifting world.
These goals are deeply rooted in our shared purpose, values and behaviours, which guide everything we do.
At PwC, we are enabling our people to have – and deliver – a high-quality experience. To achieve this, we are actively building the right mix of team members, skills and approaches that fit today and flex for tomorrow.
The world of work is always evolving. But its evolution has accelerated rapidly in the past year, opening up opportunities for both PwC and our clients to learn lessons and encourage new ways of working.
While remote working clearly has many benefits, we also recognise the importance of coming together in person to build relationships and share ideas. That is why many of our member firms are moving towards a hybrid working model tailored to their local market conditions. Several of our firms, including the UK and Africa, have enhanced their flexible working policies to provide their partners and staff more choice over how, where and when they work. These policies are built on two-way flexibility and the trust that each individual will work in a way that suits them while also meeting the needs of their teams, the wider firm and our clients.
We also recognise that extended periods of remote working can lead to feelings of isolation. To combat this, our member firms have established mechanisms to ensure our people feel connected while working virtually. For example, PwC Malaysia runs an ongoing programme of virtual team activities, ranging from cookie decorating contests to fitness challenges and virtual lunches.
Just as our ways of working have changed, so we are now coaching people in new ways too. During the times when quick chats over lunch or while walking between meetings were not possible, we needed to help our people approach coaching with a new mindset and make it more intentional than ever before. By increasing access to upskilling opportunities in different types of coaching, our staff and partners are encouraged to integrate coaching conversations into their everyday connections, in person or virtually.
Take the example of our assurance practice. After shifting to fully remote working, many team members were missing the collaboration and on-the-job learning that the physical audit room had historically provided. To create a flexible workplace that fosters an environment where mentoring and coaching happen in the course of daily work, our assurance teams created virtual audit rooms – digital ‘hangouts’ – where team members and clients could come and go at the click of a button.
Not only did the virtual audit room create a sense of belonging and foster connectivity, it also provided a safe space to ask questions and absorb some of the dialogue and informal coaching that happens organically when team members are in the same physical location. Our experience across the PwC network shows that virtual audit rooms encourage our people to be transparent, flexible and inclusive as they work together to deliver the highest quality for our clients.
To turn The New Equation into reality we have committed to create 100,000 net new jobs in the next five years, with a clear emphasis on hiring specialists in increasingly critical areas such as technology, digital, climate, strategic deals, leadership and change, strategy, brand building and supply chain. Despite the challenges of a year dominated by the pandemic, our recruiting efforts continued without pause in FY21, and we welcomed 90,273 new joiners (FY20: 81,552), including 24,800 interns.
|Region||Line of service||FY21 hires||Hire rate||Female||Male||Not declared|
Driven partly by the limitations on face-to-face meetings, our member firms are increasingly finding new and innovative ways to connect with potential candidates. The UK firm created Virtual Park, a virtual reality space where potential candidates create an avatar to interact with PwC recruiters, partners and staff in a variety of settings – an auditorium, a conference room, an event hall and even a beach – to learn more about opportunities and firm offerings. Not only has this been a creative way of navigating pandemic restrictions but, more importantly, this medium enables us to expand our reach to universities at which we previously may not have had a physical presence.
Our recent hires are finding the experience of working at PwC to be a positive one. In both our annual Global People Survey and the Global New Joiner One-month Survey, staff who have been with us for less than one year gave the highest scores in 11 years. This reflects improvements we made to deliver onboarding in a virtual environment, which increased the quality, consistency and inclusivity of the experience, and put a particular focus on the pre-hire experience (from offer acceptance through to start date). Together, these improvements are helping new joiners to feel better prepared, know what to expect, and feel connected through using Look Inside - PwC’s online community for pre-hires.
PwC's long-established international mobility programme helps us meet the needs of our clients – wherever they are in the world – while also providing our people with valuable professional development experiences. Unsurprisingly, the travel and border restrictions that many governments imposed in response to the pandemic inevitably led to a reduction in international mobility activity over the past year. The total number of new international moves in FY21 was 1,052 (FY20: 2,938). These moves took place across 95 countries (FY20: 114 countries) and with 42% of moves undertaken by women (FY20: 44%).
As we move into FY22, we anticipate being able to mobilise more staff at scale to move internationally. This, along with continuing to capitalise on our new ways of working virtually across borders, will enable us to bring together a broader community of solvers to help our clients build trust and achieve sustained outcomes.
At PwC, we are building a strong and flexible foundation for our people and our network through the values, systems and healthy habits that enable our people to confidently navigate the evolution of our business and live up to our ambition of The New Equation.
In order to build a resilient foundation for the future, we are working to reinforce a positive workplace where our people feel empowered and supported in their careers. In FY21, we re-launched our annual Global People Survey after a temporary pause in FY20 in favour of more local, real-time feedback during the pandemic. The survey is a great indicator of how our people feel about working at PwC. It reveals insights that help our leaders understand where we’re doing well and identify areas that need more work.
This year we adopted a new People Engagement Index that focuses on more personalised aspects of the engagement experience. The index serves as an overall litmus test for how our people are feeling about PwC, and the early results have been very positive, with 77% of our people having a favourable impression of PwC. Additionally, 84% of survey respondents are proud to work at PwC and 74% enjoy working at PwC and would recommend it as a great place to work.
Our leaders have been prioritising regular connectivity with employees – and this seems to be bearing fruit, with our leadership effectiveness scores increasing in a number of areas. For instance, 72% of respondents say the leaders they work with make a point of being transparent with information. Furthermore, 70% report having personally relevant discussions with their leaders around their development and 92% say that the feedback and coaching they receive allows them to make immediate improvements in their performance.
While we are proud of our Global People Survey results, we know we can always do better. For example, the results have also highlighted a clear need to remain focused on improving employee wellbeing, especially as the pandemic continues to impact our lives. While 72% of survey respondents say they are able to talk to their teams and leaders about the support they need, only 50% of these respondents currently feel they can both have a healthy lifestyle and also be successful at PwC. This is a mismatch we need to address.
Caring for the wellbeing of our people
The health, wellbeing and safety of our people continues to be a top priority. We recognise that further progress in enabling a healthy lifestyle for our people requires sustained focus on achieving a systemic change in how we work. It also requires targeted actions and interventions when our people need them most.
During the past year, mental health has been a key focus for our network, with many firms offering a variety of programmes to meet the needs of their people. For instance, PwC Canada offers a Mental Health First Aid training programme that focuses on recognising the signs and symptoms of mental health issues, how to care for our own mental health and wellbeing, how to identify if someone needs help, and our role in supporting others. Since the programme’s launch in 2020, over 1,400 staff and partners have attended at least one session, with some returning for more.
Formal programmes have also been implemented to help people regain control of their calendars. The US firm has an initiative to help teams adopt healthier working patterns that includes a 25% meeting reduction target and no-video Fridays. Our Middle East firm launched a ‘Block your o’clock’ initiative that provides its people with ideas and mechanisms to take control of their calendars to help improve time management and productivity while reducing stress.
But the health and happiness of our people is not only about their mental health. In October 2020, PwC South Africa launched a gender-neutral domestic violence policy. It provides support to people at the firm experiencing or recovering from domestic and/or gender-based violence, which has been on the rise since lockdown measures were put in place. The policy offers emotional and legal counselling, additional leave (to file police reports, find new accommodation, attend court hearings, etc.), and an advance on salary should the victim have to move home.
We have a long-standing commitment to inclusion and diversity (I&D) as a means of delivering on our purpose and strategy. We can only solve the world’s most important problems if we have diverse teams and foster a culture of inclusion and transparency. Knowing this ambition needs to be driven from the highest levels, we appointed a Global Inclusion and Diversity Council in 2020 made up of ten PwC leaders and chaired by our Global Chairman. In FY21, the Council focused on connecting with allocated territory senior partners to ensure that local I&D goals are aligned with those of the network. I&D metrics such as the proportion of promotions by gender and the percentage of female partner admissions were also drafted, and will be used in the future to ensure accountability.
As part of The New Equation, we need to actively develop the inclusive mindset and leadership skills that are essential to building trust and delivering sustained outcomes for our clients, while also creating a culture of belonging for our people. One of the investments we are making to bring this to life is the launch of the Inclusive Mindset curriculum in September 2021. Sponsored by our I&D Council, this curriculum aims to help learners build understanding of the essential inclusion and diversity constructs that will help them to shift their mindset, and to explore both the key human skills essential to practising more inclusive behaviours and also the best ways to improve their leadership skills.
When we surveyed our people, 73% told us that they felt they ‘belong’ at PwC, 74% said their leaders are actively building a diverse and inclusive work environment, and 71% felt that Territory Leaders are taking appropriate actions to support the I&D agenda.
Gender equality remains a priority focus. We are particularly mindful of the disproportionate impact that the global pandemic has had on women, who are now also bearing a greater burden of childcare and housework alongside paid work.
We continue to focus on providing women with opportunities to develop, progress and reach their full potential. This includes ensuring higher female representation at senior grades, particularly director and partner levels. While many PwC firms across our network have their own territory-specific programmes in place, achieving balanced gender representation remains a challenge and we have not made the progress that we would like. This is despite the fact that we have equal representation of women across our entire global workforce and more women globally at entry-level grades.
|Network Leadership Team||0%||0%||0%||0%||0%|
|Global Leadership Team||36%||40%||40%||47%||50%|
|Global Relationship Partners||17%||16%||14%||16%||14%|
|Strategy Council TSPs||5%||0%||0%||0%||5%|
|Internal partner admissions||29%||29%||30%||30%||27%|
While we have increased the number of female members on our global board from seven to eight with Lisa Sawicki recently selected as our global board chair, we still need to increase female representation further in our global leadership groups. We are working actively with our member firms on issues such as leadership pipelines in order to address this and are seeing incremental changes year-on-year at local senior leadership levels. But we know we need to do more to accelerate change in this area.
In 2021, we renewed our pledge to the UN’s HeForShe movement, a forum that brings together policy, corporate and academic leaders committed to creating a more diverse, inclusive and gender-equal world. Bob Moritz, our Global Chairman, attended the HeForShe Summit, joining other leaders of industry and policy along with celebrity guests, to share tangible actions that PwC and others can take to make the world a more equal place. As part of this, we released a refreshed version of our Proven Solution, bringing together thoughts from all HeForShe champions on how to achieve gender equality in different settings. We also contributed our own data to the HeForShe: Data Trends report, which shows the progress made by all champions in their overall representation of women.
And to mark International Women’s Day 2021, we asked female leaders from across our network to share their experiences and perspectives on how they overcame career challenges as part of the Our Leaders #ChooseToChallenge campaign.
While the number of women directors and partners at PwC has been increasing in recent years, progress has been too slow and there is clearly more that we need to do to improve the representation of women at the higher grades. Our firms have a variety of programmes in place - recruitment targets, resourcing, sponsorship programmes, retention and leadership accountability - to attract and retain female talent and to significantly increase female representation at director and partner level. We have also set goals for the proportion of female partner admissions at a number of firms to ensure accountability and encourage bold action. Female representation - particularly at the partner level - continues to be lower in advisory than in other parts of PwC, partly due to the size of the available population in the marketplace. However, we are focused on specific programmes to address this.
|Global line of service||Aggregated management level||Female (%)||Male (%)||Gender not declared (%)|
Our commitment to inclusion and diversity goes far beyond gender to cover all dimensions of diversity. With this in mind, PwC has taken action throughout FY21 to support people from a wide range of minority groups.
We have continued to focus on racial diversity. Territory Senior Partners from the UK, the US and other firms across our network have made public commitments to take action against the racism and injustice that still exists in society today. This has led to various programmes, including forums of support and active sharing of real-life experiences by our leaders and people, as well as awareness training to help shift our people’s behaviours and mindset to create a more inclusive workplace for all. For example, PwC US announced six additional commitments to accelerate its journey towards building a more diverse and inclusive organisation. Among these commitments was a promise to publicly release the US firm’s diversity data and strategy, which it did in August 2020. This level of transparency supports the firm's intention to continue to share where it is on its I&D journey, in line with ESG reporting, and to build trust in society.
At a network level, PwC is a founding member of the Partnership for Global LGBTI Equality, an official project of the World Economic Forum. This involves member organisations coming together to advance global progress in equality and social and economic inclusion for LGBT+ people. In 2017, we launched a global LGBT+ network called Shine, which brings together PwC members of this community and their allies. The network has now grown to include 23 territories, following the launch this year of Shine communities in Belgium, India, Spain, and the Manila Acceleration Centre. In 2021, PwC celebrated Pride virtually with people from across the Shine networks in Canada, EMEA, Mexico and the US. We also released the Together with Pride video, highlighting stories from our LGBT+ communities across our global network.
Turning to disability - in May 2021 the Valuable 500 revealed the organisations that have signed up and committed to do more in support of disability inclusion across industries. As part of this, Bob Moritz, our Global Chairman, has appointed Leandro Camilo, a partner in PwC Brazil and the local Inclusion and Diversity head, as Global Disability Leader to help drive accelerated change across our network. Beyond this, local support was pledged by other member firms, including Australia, Chile, France, Italy, the Netherlands and the UK.
We are committed to reimagining accessible employment and helping to build accessible and inclusive workplaces. One great example of this is the PwC Australia Ability@PwC employee network, where people from across the firm volunteer their time to help break down the stigma that people with disability can all too often face in the workplace, by delivering disability confidence training firm-wide. This helps to raise the visibility of people with disabilities, and celebrate role models across the firm. Another example is the Inclusion and Mentoring Programme for people with disabilities that our Brazil firm launched in 2021. The programme aims to eliminate barriers and implement tools to improve the experience and enhance the career of our people with disabilities through internal process improvements, soft and hard skills development, and one-to-one mentoring sessions with PwC Brazil partners.
While many of our people feel proud of our efforts to foster an inclusive and diverse culture, we must not be complacent. We will continue to challenge ourselves to ensure our people represent the diversity of our clients and society, and foster inclusion so all our people can thrive.
At PwC, we believe in paying people equitably, irrespective of their race, gender or age. All of our member firms have processes and controls in place to comply with all applicable local wage laws. PwC member firms also regularly conduct comprehensive reviews of compensation data to understand differences among staff. Some member firms may choose to add additional types of pay equity reviews, such as compensation differences among partners, or an analysis along racial/ethnic lines. Several of our member firms make public disclosures detailing their approach to pay equity, including Australia, the US, the Netherlands, and the UK. Our Switzerland and Netherlands firms have obtained the EQUAL-SALARY certification after having been audited by an independent third party.
This year, for the first time, we have published a global gender pay gap as measured using the World Economic Forum definition as the ratio of the average woman's pay to the average man's pay at each staff level. The calculation is based on the weighted average of gender pay gaps at each staff level in our 21 largest territories.
|Aggregated Management Level||Ratio of basic salary: Female to Male (%)||Ratio of basic salary and bonus: Female to Male (%)|
In FY21, our Global Chairman Bob Moritz earned 130 times the median basic salary and bonus of PwC employees across the network. Mr Moritz’s remuneration is determined by our global board of PwC International Limited. It includes a performance component assessed by the Board based on the achievement of his and the Network Leadership Team’s (NLT’s) annual priorities, progress against the NLT’s shared strategic goals, and input collected from relevant leaders. The overall median compensation of our employees is impacted by our pyramid-based operating model, with approximately two-thirds of our people being at senior associate level or below.
To deliver on The New Equation, we are dedicated to ensuring that our people have the right set of skills that equip them for today and prepare them for tomorrow.
Our upskilling journey began in 2019 when we launched our ‘Digitising the Network’ programme with the mission to invest in and provide our people with new skills, innovative tools and capabilities. While our journey to become a truly digital business continues, we now have over 159,000 Digital Academy graduates (FY20: 100,000) who have upskilled themselves and we have redefined how we work to deliver the highest quality and best outcomes for our clients.
At the end of the year, these efforts had resulted in over 10,000 citizen-led innovations (FY20: 7,500) in our Digital Lab, PwC’s first crowdsourced solution-sharing community for finding, building and sharing digital assets. By storing innovative solutions in one central repository and harnessing cutting-edge tools and technologies in data, analytics and robotic process automation, our people are rethinking processes, enhancing quality and efficiency, and improving the way they work and collaborate. The rate at which our people have upskilled themselves has also allowed us to scale innovation and develop new client offerings, solving their problems in new ways. Every step of our digital journey has helped us progress to where we are today – transforming the way we work to benefit our clients and our people, and building the future of our firm.
PwC’s Badge Programme is a key part of this ongoing upskilling strategy. It promotes continuous learning by helping our people acquire the high-priority skills they need for today and the future. Badges provide visible, portable records of skills that can be shared internally and externally. The Badge Programme continues to expand across the network, with 48 member firms now collectively issuing over 139,000 badges to our people (FY20:103,000). And the Badge portfolio continues to grow, with the launch of the Inclusive Mindset badge and two new AI badges to help us deliver sustained outcomes for our clients by combining human ingenuity with technology innovations.
In support of our strategy, we are harvesting the best practices and lessons learned from our digital upskilling initiative to apply to the next wave of emerging skills, such as the recently launched Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Academy and the evolution of the Inclusive Leadership badge portfolio.
Against the backdrop of our upskilling ambitions and the impact the global pandemic had on face-to-face training, over the past year we have reimagined how our people can learn in new and dynamic ways. Virtual learning is no longer a standalone e-learning or virtual classroom experience. We are now using a wide range of technologies in concert to create a unique, immersive experience. Vantage – our online learning platform – is a key enabler of this, providing direct, personalised access to a wealth of learning content from PwC and beyond.
Last year we reported our average training hours per employee for the first time, based on the learning tracked in Vantage. This year we’ve expanded the measure to understand more about the balance of those training hours across gender, line of service and level. This data does not capture external courses and conferences nor untracked on-the-job learning.
The data on average training hours per employee highlights that the regulatory training for our assurance practice requires a greater commitment of training hours, particularly for associates when they are working towards formal qualifications. As people become more senior, formal training is often replaced with other learning opportunities that are not tracked in Vantage, such as executive coaching and real-time learning in the flow of work.
The data also highlights that overall training hours fell last year due to longer in-person sessions being replaced with multiple shorter, more focused pieces of learning. In total, our people launched an average of 1.46 million learning items each month during FY21 (FY20: 1.2 million).
We are committed to high-quality services, a commitment that is underpinned by our approach to ongoing technical training that has quality at its core. PwC has a robust series of technical training that is delivered to our people each year based on the requirements of the member firms in each of our lines of service.
For example, our assurance practice offers a training curriculum covering the PwC audit approach and tools, updates on auditing standards and their implications, together with audit risk and areas for improved quality. Supplemented by robust local training, this curriculum consistently prepares partners and staff for the delivery of high-quality assurance services. It uses a blend of delivery approaches to support our changing ways of working, together with real-time, on-the-job support. The content is constantly evolving so that it continues to be fit for purpose. In 2021, for instance, a core training programme focused on how teams can build a continuous improvement, quality culture with targeted learning on fraud and going concern risk assessment. Learners practised and shared best practices as they applied professional judgement and professional scepticism skills, while reflecting on how the right mindset, project management and remote working practices can support them and their teams in delivering quality work.
Leaders today are grappling with an ever increasing array of urgent challenges confronting the world. The New Equation is our response to helping our clients and other stakeholders build trust and address these challenges and the intertwined needs every organisation faces - the need to build trust and deliver sustained outcomes. Achieving both of these in today’s complex and fast-changing world requires a different form of leadership - one capable of reconciling dilemmas, identifying, creating and preserving value, and delivering multidisciplinary solutions that draw on diverse talent and are powered by technology. We have a variety of leadership programmes and development opportunities to grow these essential leadership capabilities.
In the past year, we have launched our ‘Reinventing the Future’ programme. This is a major development initiative designed to ensure that key client-facing partners are equipped to support our clients in repairing, rethinking and reconfiguring their businesses in light of the massive changes happening in the world and to build a more sustainable future. It consists of a five-week series of seminars and tutorials that are continuously refreshed and reinforced with thought leadership. The content challenges partners to grapple with strategic topics and translate them into the context of their clients. Termed ‘futurists’, more than 1,200 partners from across the network have participated so far.
We also deliver programmes designed to accelerate the development of selected partners, to better equip them to help both PwC and our clients identify and focus on the opportunities presented by the current world challenges. For example, the Network Leadership Development Programme (NLDP) is a 22-month experience that provides 200 partners from over 40 member firms with the opportunity to engage in a series of immersive activities and challenges, working with other partners from around the network to expand their views of the world and increase their effectiveness in leading through complexity and uncertainty. To overcome physical travel constraints, we used virtual reality (VR) to bring remote participants together to solve problems collaboratively in real time. Through the power of VR, participants were able to visit and experience cities around the world before meeting virtually with successful entrepreneurs, innovators and leaders from those locations. As a culminating outcome of the experience, each partner then reflected on their ability to lead through the sustained impact of COVID-19. Through inspiring TED-like talks, they revealed how their leadership has evolved to be prepared for the moment.
This is the first time we are reporting detailed data on turnover. In FY21, 90,273 people joined PwC and 53,503 people left. We remain in contact with many of our former colleagues via our strong and active alumni communities.
|Region||Global line of service||Total departures||Turnover rate||Female||Male||Not declared|
Basis of preparation
PwC’s headcount includes partners, regular employees, interns, and fixed-term employees. Contingent workers are excluded. Employees on leave (parental, disability, sabbatical, etc.) are included in the PwC headcount. The PwC headcount as of June 30, 2021 is the population used for the PwC people by region, line of service and level; employee category by gender; and training hours.
PwC hires include partners, regular employees, interns, and fixed-term employees. Contingent workers are excluded.
Employee turnover includes the departures of regular employees only. All other worker types, including partners, interns, fixed-term and contingent workers are excluded.
The pay metrics (gender pay gaps and the ratio of the Global Chairman’s compensation to the median FY21 employee pay) include regular employees and fixed-term employees of the 21 largest PwC territories. Partners, interns and contingent workers are excluded.
Director, Global Corporate Affairs and Communications, PwC United Kingdom
Tel: +44 7803 974136