Accenture’s ambition is to be the most inclusive and diverse company in the world, and we are accelerating a culture of equality to ensure all our people feel they belong and can advance and thrive.
We are proud to be selected as DEI Company of the Year in the enterprise category for the 2022 Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Awards presented by the Los Angeles Business Journal.
Accenture is a global professional services company with leading capabilities in digital, cloud, and security. Our 699,000 people deliver on the promise of technology and human ingenuity every day, serving clients in more than 120 countries.
We hold ourselves accountable for our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). It enables us to attract, develop, inspire, and reward top talent. We create an environment that unleashes innovation, allows our people to perform their very best, and underpins a culture in which everyone has an equal opportunity to belong and build a career. The rich diversity and ingenuity of our people — from our board of directors to our new hires — helps us deliver value for the benefit of all.
CHARTING OUR PROGRESS
Transparency and accountability form the foundation for building trust with our clients, people, shareholders, partners, and communities. In 2016, we became the first professional services company to publish comprehensive data about our US workforce. Since then, we have shared our workforce composition by gender, ethnicity, and race, persons with disabilities, LGBTQ+, and veterans.
In 2017, we committed to achieving a gender-balanced workforce by 2025 that is equally 50% women and 50% men, for those whose gender is binary. We have worked diligently to fulfill that commitment and are on track to reach our goal. To date, 50% of our board of directors, 49% of our new hires, 46% of our workforce, and 44% of our promotions are women.
Our commitment to equality starts at the top with our Chairperson & CEO Julie Sweet, our board of directors, which is 60% racially and ethnically diverse, and our North America Leadership Team.
At Accenture, equity means all our people also receive fair and consistent pay when considering the similarity of work, location, and tenure at career level. We conduct an annual pay equity review. As of our last review in November 2021, we have dollar-for-dollar, 100% pay equity for women compared to men in every country where we operate (excluding countries with de minimis headcount). By race and ethnicity, we likewise have dollar-for-dollar, 100% pay equity in countries where we collect this data, including the US.
BRINGING OUR VISION TO LIFE
Our culture of inclusion and diversity is fostered and brought to life by our Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) — vibrant communities that enable our people to strengthen their networks, grow their skills, celebrate their heritage, and give back to the communities where they live and work. In North America, we have 22 ERGs that cover multiple faiths, ethnicities, disabilities, mental wellness, the military, gender, and LGBTQ+.
In FY21, our 16 ERGs in SoCal planned 483 volunteering events that had a tremendous impact on the community; all completed virtually. Our ERGs also led internal-facing events to create inclusion and connectedness, cultural awareness, and professional development. All ERG events are amplified office-wide to promote collaboration, community, and allyship.
Our ERGs are the voices of our people and help make sure that we are creating a culture where our people feel seen, safe, connected, and courageous. In addition, they help us attract diverse talent, which will ensure that we are all driving to meet our goals.
EQUALITY DRIVES INNOVATION
We believe inclusion and diversity unleash innovation and create a culture where everyone has equal opportunity. For example, our North America apprentice program launched in 2016 has trained more than 1,200 apprentices in more than 35 cities. The learn-and-earn model with benefits provides a pathway for people without four-year degrees and other nontraditional candidates to attain digital economy jobs and build sustainable careers. We believe apprenticeships play an important role in building a more economically inclusive world. We set a goal of filling 20% of our entry-level roles from the apprenticeship program for our current fiscal year.
We have also expanded our recruiting footprint across several schools in the SoCal region. We have doubled the number of schools we target and include outreach at educational institutions with diverse student populations like California State University, Los Angeles.
Our culture of equality is an innovation multiplier — it creates innovative solutions that create greater value for our clients and inspires their own inclusion and diversity efforts. Accenture is committed to making change happen with our clients and internally.
Over the past two years, we have strengthened DEI work with our public service clients in particular. One of our largest and most successful efforts so far is with a large CA government agency.
We created the Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity Advancement (IDEA) team to provide resources, processes, and support for the diverse group of employees that make up the organization. Together, we developed a strategic and innovative approach to DEI. We brought together a group of diverse employees for collaborative, user-centered design sessions to develop intentionally inclusive DEI initiatives for the agency.
Inclusion and Diversity training is becoming standard in the workplace. Where it gets exciting is when it’s done in Virtual Reality (VR), which makes it more experiential and takes training to the next level. We have instituted VR implicit bias training across the country in multiple child welfare systems. Our clients are leveraging this tool to operationalize race equity and ensure that understanding biased behaviors might render our country a more equitable place.
Our work is not done. Our people’s passion for equality and positive change has never been stronger. We are proud of what we have accomplished, and we will not stop until equality is the reality. We are confident that Accenture’s commitment and actions to achieve equality for all our people will drive change here in the Los Angeles area, across North America, and around the globe.
Martin Hodgett is Accenture’s office managing director for Southern California.