Accelerating progress and growth with purpose

17 October, 2022

Tim Ryan
US Chair and Senior Partner

The past two years have been unlike any other we’ve known. As a society and as business leaders we’re learning how to quickly adapt and become more resilient. As we plan for what is around the corner, we’ve learned a few lessons from the past two years. Most importantly, we will be leaning into and continuing to significantly invest in our purpose, our north star. For us that means we will continue to work really hard to build trust in society and solve important problems to make a meaningful difference in the world. 

We are not alone in this aspiration. Speaking with other CEOs, I hear leadership teams that, while concerned about many uncertainties in the world, are excited and up for the challenge. Why? Because the last few years have shown us that we can lead, inspire and perform in an uncertain world. While there is so much out there that we can't control, CEOs have recognized how important it is to continue making decisions and investments in support of their businesses’ values and building trust. When we control what we can control, it allows us to be better equipped to handle whatever may come next – whether it's an economic recession or something else.

For us, our purpose is always our north star, guiding us to do what’s right for our people and communities. It also helps us better advise our clients during challenging times and accelerate our own growth and change. As we face the uncertainty, complexity and increased pace of change ahead of us, we will need to not just maintain progress, but accelerate and lead through it.

Two years ago, we committed to transparency around diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) as an important step to hold ourselves accountable for both making progress and staying true to our purpose, culture and values. In that same spirit of transparency, today we release our 2022 Purpose and Inclusion Report, with four chapters detailing our commitment to DEI, making a difference in society, environmental sustainability and governance.

In our report, we share the progress we’re making and how, together with our people, clients, nonprofits and our peers, we’re navigating rapid change with care, understanding, empathy and trust. You’ll also see that, while we’ve made strides, we’re not yet where we want to be – so we will continue to lean in, learn from our work and adjust where our plans aren’t achieving the progress we expected. You’ll see us continue to build trust, be intentional in our decisions and hold ourselves accountable.

  • We know that the success of our people is based on equity of experience. Our investments in the future start with our people. We set tangible short-term and long-term aspirations to help support DEI within our firm. And we’re committed to sustainable change rooted in new approaches to recruitment and time-based actions that will likely shift the makeup of our firm. One aspect of this is our biggest and boldest reimagining of our people strategy, called My+, which will fundamentally shift how we work by personalizing our people’s careers at the firm in a tech-enabled way. We’re proud of the progress we’re making to attract and retain diverse talent as well as how we’re enhancing our people’s experience through targeted programming. 
  • We invest in making a difference in society. We’re not just focused on our own four walls, we also aim to help advance social equity outside of our firm. Through our pro bono program, Skills for Society, we harness the power of our people to help nonprofits digitally transform and tackle operational issues. The PwC Charitable Foundation funds solutions for society’s biggest challenges, from education to humanitarian crises. And, through our Access Your Potential commitment, we’re making investments to support career readiness and exploration among Black and Hispanic/Latinx students. We’re proud to have hired 4,900 racially/ethnically diverse people into the firm since FY21 — but we want to do more to advance job creation, especially for Black and Hispanic/Latinx students, and we’re engaging other companies who share that goal.
  • We embrace collaboration to solve our greatest and most important challenges. Given our size and scale, we’re in a unique position to lead the conversation on issues that matter. It’s why we’re proud to have launched a landmark commitment, Tomorrow Takes Trust, to embed trust-based principles into today and tomorrow’s business leaders. This commitment includes our Trust Leadership Institute and one of the things I’m most proud of, CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion — the largest CEO-driven business commitment to advance DEI in the workplace — which celebrated its fifth anniversary this year with more than 2,300 signatories! 
  • We help support a more sustainable and equitable planet. Environmental degradation is a risk to all our futures. We know that no group is immune to the effects of climate change, yet underserved populations continue to be disproportionately impacted, eroding safety, long-term health and economic outcomes. Climate change is an urgent crisis, so our environmental strategy is focused on carbon reduction and environmental sustainability, and we’ve set science-based targets to help reach our net-zero commitment. However, we’re also bracing for the negative impact increased business travel could have on these goals.

While we’ve made progress, we’re not yet where we want to be. This next year will likely  pose new challenges, but instead of pulling back on our commitments, we’ll lean in. We’ll use new tools to understand what’s working and course-correct when it's not. We’ll continue to make decisions for our people and our business that align with our values. After all, we are a community of solvers – working to build trust and deliver sustained outcomes for our clients, our stakeholders and our communities – a purpose that we can only achieve when we’ve created a more equitable future for all of us.

Read our 2022 Purpose and Inclusion Report here.

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