Tracking our efforts to help close the opportunity gap

FY19 update: How we mind the gap

Why we mind the (opportunity) gap
There is an increasing gap in today’s world. A gap between those who have access to opportunity and those who don’t, those who have the tools and resources to learn necessary digital skills and those who don’t and those who experience safe, inclusive environments and those who don’t.

At PwC, we mind the gap
Our purpose is to solve important problems and build trust in society, and we are doing that by combining our skills, experience and resources to mind these opportunity gaps. In our fiscal year 2019 (FY19), we made strides in helping address disparities—especially those around skills—in underserved communities and in helping create a more inclusive work environment. We also identified new challenges, both internal and external, that we are working to address.

Minding these gaps is not easy work, and it can’t be solved in one year. This is a long-term journey. But at PwC, we solve big, important problems. We also know that when people are given the ability to maximize their potential, it is good for our communities, our clients and our firm. For us, pursuing this work is not just about Responsible Business Leadership (RBL)—it is the primary expression of who we are at PwC.

Responsible Business Leadership is our commitment to deliver business value, make meaningful societal impact to help close the opportunity gap and provide our people with ways to live their individual purpose. We track our performance* against our key initiatives and investments in education, inclusion and environmental stewardship. As a professional services firm, our people are our greatest asset, and they drive everything we do. Click below to see our investments and initiatives to address the opportunity gap and how our people’s contributions of time and dollars added up in FY19.

*The information and performance data disclosed in this report are for FY19, which ran from July 1, 2018, through June 30, 2019—except where noted.


Emerging technologies and shifts in demographics are changing the way we work. Launched in FY17, Access Your Potential (AYP) is PwC’s five-year $320m commitment to maximize the potential of underserved communities through digital inclusion. Through AYP, PwC is helping to build a more diverse, tech-skilled workforce to benefit our firm, our clients and our economy, while creating a better future for tomorrow’s leaders.

We recognize that many students don’t have opportunities to learn about and pursue careers in technology. This is especially true for students who are female, black, Latinx or living in underserved communities. We also know that baseline technology skills are increasingly necessary for many jobs today—and likely will be for a majority of the jobs of tomorrow. We are addressing this technology skills gap by providing resources to help students and educators upskill through our AYP curriculum and Digital Fitness App for Teachers, and inspiring students across the country with our robot, CODE-E.

Bringing technology, and a robot, into the classroom
“By bringing CODE-E into my classroom,” shared one Los Angeles teacher, “I brought the future straight to them. My students moved the concept of robotics and the essential eight from being a disconnected idea to an actual presence in their own lives.”

“Since downloading the [Digital Fitness] app, I jumped in with both feet and implemented coding and other STEM subjects into everyday lessons,” said one Salt Lake City teacher. “The kids are 100% engaged and are learning so much.”

FY18-FY22 5-year commitments

  Progress to date
$320m 39%
Youth education hours 
1.4m 30%
Students reached
10m 77%
Students mentored
10,000 30%
Teachers and counselors trained
100,000 74%

Breaking down the numbers
In FY19, the total number of teachers trained and students reached through AYP increased significantly with the launch of PwC’s Digital Fitness App for Teachers. This app was adapted from a version used by PwC staff and clients, and was customized for teachers thanks to support from the PwC Charitable Foundation.

Total partner and staff volunteer hours also increased by 4% with the rollout of a new pro bono program, Skills for Society. We are one-third of the way to our goal of 10,000 students mentored, and we are investing in additional virtual opportunities for our people to share their experiences with students across the country.

Two years into our AYP commitment, we have made significant progress on our stated objectives and are on track to achieve these beneficiary goals two years ahead of schedule.

Education FY18 FY19


Youth education hours

Board seat hours

Fee-waived and pro bono hours

Students reached

Students mentored

Teachers and counselors trained















* Includes nonprofit contributions, student loan paydown for eligible PwC staff, and 211,854 youth education service hours.

Note: These figures were reviewed and verified by a third party in accordance with the attestation standards established by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) in AT-C Section 105, Concepts Common to All Attestation Engagements and AT-C Section 210, Review Engagements.

PwC values the unique experiences and perspectives each individual brings to the table. We seek to achieve an environment of inclusion and belonging where our people can reach their potential and work to solve important problems.

Our clients rely on us to see things differently, uncover new approaches to challenging issues and bring fresh perspectives. We believe an inclusive workplace is key to delivering this for our people and our clients.

Every day, we work to foster a culture of inclusion and belonging for our people
On International Women’s Day, PwC hosted a candid conversation about gender with Working Mother Media President Subha Barry, Pulitzer-winning journalist Ronan Farrow and UN special advisor and HeForShe Founder Elizabeth Nyamayaro.

In June, our global LGBT+ community came together for our first-ever Global LGBT+ Summit in New York, in conjunction with the World Pride celebration and the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising.

Year-round, we provide opportunities for our people to develop inclusive leadership skills, including Outsmarting Human Mindsblind spots training and more.

In December, our people participated in Inclusive Leadership and Belonging, an initiative to help partners and staff understand the impact they have and the role they play in creating a sense of belonging in the workplace and in our communities.


Breaking down the numbers
Our year-over-year data shows we are succeeding at attracting diverse talent. It also suggests that we need to continue to focus on retaining ethnic and racial minorities and female staff, and promoting them to leadership positions. We foster a culture of inclusion and belonging for all of our people and provide our diverse talent with opportunities to use their unique perspectives to help clients solve important problems, to develop their own leadership skills and to build a career here.

Diversity and inclusion






By gender



By minority status



Has not self-identified race/ethnicity















Partners and principals FY18 FY19

By gender



By minority status



Has not self-identified race/ethnicity















New and experienced hires FY18 FY19

By gender



By minority status



Has not self-identified race/ethnicity















* An employee is categorized as minority if they self-identify as any of the following groups: American Indian/Alaskan Native, Asian, Black or African American, Latinx, Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Island, or two or more races


Climate change and its related natural disasters pose great risks to communities, particularly those that are already vulnerable and underserved. It’s vital we all do our part. We are committed to reducing and offsetting our carbon emissions in the areas that are most material to our business: business air travel and energy use. PwC is taking action by reducing emissions wherever we can, purchasing Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) to cover our energy use, and investing in carbon offsets for 100% of the air travel emissions we cannot avoid.

Our perspective on carbon offsets
There are a number of ways to offset carbon emissions. We feel strongly that natural solutions such as reforestation are optimal, as they leverage ecological systems and can have associated benefits such as economic development, improved human health and wildlife habitat creation. This is why we purchase a substantial part of our carbon offset portfolio from the Arbor Day Foundation’s Mississippi River Valley Carbon Project.

Breaking down the numbers
Our gross carbon emissions increased between 2018 and 2019, primarily due to increases in air travel related to the growth of our business. Air travel will remain a critical part of how we deliver our impact and value with clients. However, in FY19 we offset 100% of our emissions from air travel by investing in carbon offsets. These offsets, combined with RECs to cover our electricity emissions, mean we have reached a 45% net carbon emission reduction from our 2007 baseline.

Going forward, we will continue to reduce gross emissions from our workspace and purchase RECs to cover 100% of our electricity consumption and carbon offsets for 100% of our air travel emissions as part of the PwC global network’s environmental ambition.

GHG emissions (tCO2e) FY18 FY19

GHG emissions (Gross)

GHG emissions (Net)











GHG emissions (tCO2e) per FTE FY18 FY19

Gross GHG emissions per FTE

Net GHG emissions per FTE





Composition of GHG emissions (Gross) FY18 FY19

Scope 1 & 2 (workspace: diesel, fuel oil, natural gas, purchased electricity and heat)

Scope 3 (Air travel)







In FY19, we made some changes to our GHG methodology and consequently recalculated all of our annual historic emissions going back to the baseline year of FY07 (July 1, 2006–June 30, 2007). For further detail on how we calculate emissions and for recent updates to our process, please see Carbon Methodology.

Complex organizational challenges affect businesses and nonprofits alike. Through our pro bono programs, PwC professionals leverage their experience, purpose and passion to help nonprofits solve challenges—increasing the nonprofits’ capacity and maximizing their impact on our communities. Through programs like Skills for Society, we empower our people to apply their skills at scale through pro bono projects and accessible nonprofit board seat service.

How PwC people are making a meaningful impact

  • PwC’s Artificial Intelligence Accelerator helped Opportunity Nation use big data to expand economic mobility. See the infographic.
  • A project for FIRST analyzed their data to inform future growth strategies, enabling them to inspire even more kids through quality STEM programs. See the infographic.
  • A PwC pro bono team used human-centered design to help transform the lives of underserved youth by working with Friends of the Children. Read more.
  • Analyzing and visualizing volunteer data for iMentor helped a PwC team evolve the mentor experience in order to provide even more support to first-generation students to maximize their potential. Read more.

Breaking down the numbers
In FY19, we launched Skills for Society in five PwC offices to provide accessible pro bono service at scale to nonprofits while providing purpose-led learning experiences to our people. We focused on the youth education space to complement our Access Your Potential commitment. This new focus is reflected in the shift in pro bono hours compared with FY18. FY19 saw an increase of approximately 14,000 hours related to education hours and a decrease of approximately 9,000 hours related to non-youth education. In FY20, we will focus on projects that deliver digital transformation to nonprofits in order to increase their efficiency and impact by scaling programs like Skills for Society. We will also roll out a board seat matching program.

Pro bono FY18 FY19
Pro bono value delivered $39m $49.2m
Pro bono hours delivered    
159,609 165,168

By cause:

Youth education

Non-youth education







By type:

Fee-waived hours

Loaned staff

Board seat participation










As individuals and together as a firm, we are committed to helping the communities where we live and operate to thrive. Our people understand that while talent is everywhere, opportunity is not, and this inspires them to take action. More than half of all our employee donations continue to be directed to education-related nonprofits, showing that our people are personally invested in supporting learning causes, which is also in alignment with the firm’s AYP commitment. Through our personal donations and our collective actions, we are committed to helping close the gaps that stand in the way of expanding opportunity.

The firm came together as a family in honor of Bo
After the tragic killing of our PwC colleague Botham Jean in September 2018, partners and staff around the country came together in an unprecedented way to crowdfund in his honor for his alma mater. Over 2,500 people donated $350k to support higher education scholarships for students from underrepresented populations. Nearly 8% of our total donors this year supported this cause, and it was the most common organization our people gave to in 2018. This incredible act of unity demonstrates the power of our collective impact and the generosity of our people.


The PwC Charitable Foundation

Endeavoring to be a catalyst for change, the PwC Charitable Foundation’s grantmaking continues to evolve as new opportunities emerge to invest in creative solutions, platforms and people. Ultimately, the Foundation strives to support the people of PwC in times of need and effectively tackle society’s greatest challenges in education and humanitarianism. Since 2001, the Foundation has committed more than $100m in charitable grants.

Read more about the Foundation and its impact in the most recent annual report.

Breaking down the numbers
Our people give generously. It’s our goal to make it easy and timely by putting technology, such as an app or an ID badge scanner, in their hands during meaningful times of year and at firm events. In calendar year 2018, 70% of our people gave a total of $34m. While the amount remained flat from 2017, 3,000 more people participated through our giving platform this year. These smaller donations are from on-the-spot giving at events, which also foster a sense of community and meet our people where they are in today’s fast-paced, virtual world.

Charitable contributions FY18 FY19
Charitable contributions — Firm    $55.6m


  CY17 CY18

Charitable contributions — Our people 

Partner and staff participation

Partner participation







Employee engagement

Our people’s commitment to investing their talent, time and dollars makes our progress in addressing the opportunity gap possible. Our goal is to engage 100% of our people in Responsible Business Leadership (RBL) activities each year. We know this is a big goal. And we also know our people are generous and derive great fulfillment from giving back. We believe it’s possible to engage all our people as we continue to evolve the options we make available and meet them where they are. Our work in this space shows that we can do well while doing good. Through RBL opportunities, our people are building relationships, making meaningful societal impacts and growing personally and professionally.

Breaking down the numbers
We are proud of the work our people do in the community, and we also know the demands of our jobs and everyday life. In FY19 we tested new ways for our people to get involved, which is reflected in the increased participation percentage and hours delivered. In order to get to our goal of 100% participation and to increase repeat participation, we need to make easier, more direct connections between our people, their purpose and their goals. With Skills for Society—experiential learning through pro bono service—we’re enabling meaningful societal impact with professional skill development. With more virtual volunteering opportunities, we’re meeting our people and beneficiaries where they are. In FY20, we plan to scale these initiatives and continue to test new opportunities to activate even more of our people.

Employee Engagement FY18 FY19
Participation in at least one Responsible Business Leadership activity 77%


Participation in more than one Responsible Business Leadership activity 27% 29%
PwC service hours, including board seats and pro bono 406,498 411,594


{{contentList.dataService.numberHits}} {{contentList.dataService.numberHits == 1 ? 'result' : 'results'}}

Contact us

Shannon Schuyler

Shannon Schuyler

Chief Purpose and Inclusion Officer, PwC US

Jeff Senne

Jeff Senne

Responsible Business Leader, PwC US

Follow us