The events of the past year and a half have upended the modern workplace and frayed boundaries between personal and professional lives. Against the backdrop of a global pandemic and environmental, social and racial unrest, companies had to figure out how to keep their businesses running and care for their people. Forward-thinking companies embraced the power of technology to redefine their workplace and accelerate digital transformation. But technology can only do so much on its own.
The challenges brought forth by the pandemic as well as societal unrest brought into focus what we have long known to be an invaluable combination: the collaboration between human and machine. Bringing the best of people and technology together is how we create new opportunities, new solutions and how we can continue to deepen trust.
Our technologies are designed to solve clients’ biggest challenges, creating efficiencies, saving money and unlocking capacity. We don’t build products first, then figure out their use later. We create technologies with a purpose and to deliver sustained outcomes. In today’s rapidly shifting landscape, our clients must deliver to stakeholders while continuously adapting to the current realities. We’re bringing together the best of people and tech to help our clients build trust and deliver sustained outcomes.
At the onset of the pandemic, many of our clients whose business depends on in-person and/or on-site interactions were scrambling to figure out a way to continue operating while keeping their people safe. Enter: Check-In, a PwC product, a privacy-first contact tracing hardware ecosystem designed with trust in mind. Check-In was deployed as a daily health screener for employees and to support automated proximity-based contact tracing efforts.
Today, it’s recognized that environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues can be material to a company’s core strategy and the ability to create and protect long-term value. ESG Pulse is another PwC product within our tech-enabled strategy that helps clients quickly benchmark where they can improve ESG efforts, reporting and disclosures and more importantly develop tangible and practical plans aligned with their business’ purpose.
With increasing wealth disparity and changing demographics throughout society, technology has the opportunity to bridge divides. As a result, we are committed to our own robust digital transformation. Since 2017, we have invested $3 billion as part of our “New world. New skills.” commitment, including tools, technologies and talent to disrupt our business and deliver greater value to our clients and our communities. We are also investing in our people’s development and upskilling through a multifaceted commitment and investment in training. Training hours are an important indicator, as they hold us accountable for providing equity in learning and development opportunities for all of our people.
Our new learning and development program launching in the spring of 2022, will provide an industry-leading experience. This will include simplified, personalized and prioritized learning paths across areas of technical, compliance, digital, leadership and business acumen. It will be easier and faster for all of our people to have access to the learning they want—and need—to stay relevant.
The demand for skilled cybersecurity workers currently far outpaces the workers available. That’s why we’re making an investment in our people now to build future cybersecurity leaders. PwC’s Global Cyber Academy is an opportunity for everyone within the PwC network worldwide, no matter what territory they sit in, to be skilled in the exact same way. This universal best-in-class training provides lifelong skills that our people can take with them throughout their careers—wherever their journey takes them—so this investment not only helps our firm and our people, but the cybersecurity industry at large
Digital Lab is a technology-sharing community that helps our people to find, build and share digital assets to enhance efficiency and audit quality. More than 82% of our staff were active in Digital Lab at some point during FY21, leveraging the more than 7,500 digital assets available to them and their digital core skills and training. That is how our people are scaling innovation and integrating digital technology into the DNA of our client service, like no other firm.
We're also taking action to get more women, Black and Latinx candidates into tech—through active recruitment, career planning, mentoring, leadership opportunities, inclusive networking and retention strategies. Our focus is on continuing to cultivate an environment where people of all backgrounds have equal growth opportunities to become and lead the next generation of technologists. Our Women in Tech group is advancing this effort each and every day. Through their commitment to championing tech equity in our firm and empowering our women professionally and personally, we’ve been recognized as a 2021 Top Companies Leader for Women Technologists with AnitaB.org.
With support from firm leadership, Angie leads the team providing targeted on-the-job training and accessibility services for product teams and business owners. This makes sure that accessibility and inclusive design principles are integrated into the product lifecycle, rather than an afterthought and measured by industry standards for accessibility. As a result, our people feel empowered and responsible for building exceptional tech experiences that are accessible to and inclusive of all. She is also a member of Women in Tech, moderating panels for other women technologists and growing the chapters of the group. “My lived experience is not only as a woman in technology but also as a person of color and second generation Korean-American in this field. These dimensions of my identity have influenced my work and focus on building inclusive products at PwC, supporting areas pertaining to accessibility and representation.”
We believe our responsibilities extend beyond our people, our firm and our clients. One of the greatest concerns facing our communities is the growing gap between those with access to opportunity and those without. We’re working to close the digital divide by empowering our people to bring their skills, passion and technical expertise to the wider world.
Through Access Your Potential, our aim continues to be focused on closing the opportunity, education and skills gap in underserved communities. Two years ahead of schedule, we exceeded our initial impact goal—reaching 12.5 million students, training 119K educators and mentoring 18K students. Our goal is to help enable students from all backgrounds to have an equal opportunity to succeed, changing students’ trajectories and uplifting their communities—and we’re harnessing technology to make that possible.
The latest Access Your Potential curriculum will be enabled by ProEdge, a PwC product, to help students determine the skills they need to be competitive and generate engaging, yet challenging customized learning plans. ProEdge is our cloud based end-to-end platform that enables our clients to digitally upskill their people. Through data-enabled and personalized learning pathways, ProEdge provides industry-leading content to build a digitally savvy forward-thinking workforce.
"ProEdge focuses on the skills needed and how to get those skills. It removes factors of identity, helping us focus on what really matters. To be able to provide a solution that allows employees to stay ahead of the curve and not be fearful of technology is empowering."
Beatriz was born in Brazil and experienced first-hand the challenges of getting ready for the job market after she made the decision to start her career in the U.S. Because of that, she became a pro bono tutor to students tackling university admissions and is now a mentor to Latinx students looking to start their careers in the PwC Access Your Potential Program. “As a member of the Latinx community, I am excited to contribute to Access Your Potential. In this competitive job market, it can be critical to understand how to bring your passions and culture together with your skill set to stand out and make a difference. I’m most looking forward to fostering the discussion and helping mentor students as they join the working world.”
We are taking bold steps forward to challenge the status quo, to hold ourselves accountable and to make progress in achieving our diversity, equity and inclusion aspirations.
We are accelerating action inside and outside of our firm, particularly in underserved communities disproportionately impacted by systemic societal issues, while managing our environmental footprint to create a more equitable society.
In our FY21 Purpose Report, we share where we are in our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, our journey as a responsible business and how we combine the best of people and technology to deliver on our purpose.