Making room for diversity of all kinds

Our people and their wellbeing are at the heart and mind of who we are, and what we can achieve together. Looking back on the last year, COVID-19 stands out by bringing unprecedented changes to our people.

As we – cautiously yet optimistically – move forward, we are truly proud to see more than 2,800 Deloitte employees every day doing their utmost for our clients, each other and our society. Every single day. For our people to succeed and thrive in their work, we focus on building a culture of respect and inclusion. A culture that reflects our shared values, where people can be themselves without being uncomfortable with sharing their background, thoughts or ideas for the future. To unleash the potential of each talent on our team, we work hard to eliminate biases and change our processes to foster a more diverse workforce. This is crucial to secure our future relevance and success.

Respect and Inclusion

In Deloitte, we strive to achieve diversity of thought. We believe that diverse groups deliver stronger and more innovative solutions to our clients. We want all talents to feel welcome, appreciated and included in our professional and social communities across Deloitte. Furthermore, we want to reflect the society we are part of, which means we work to reach a more balanced composition of people with different ethnic and educational backgrounds, as well as cultural, LGBTQ+ and religious differences. Thus, our efforts to achieve respect and inclusion in Deloitte are aimed at strengthening diversity of thought in our everyday work. We have updated our anti-harassment policy, which was sent to all employees. The policy reflects our commitment to creating a workplace free of harassment, sexism and discrimination, where each person is treated with courtesy, dignity and respect, and where there is equal opportunity for all to succeed.

Additionally, we teamed up with Lederne - The Danish Association of Managers and Executives - on their #MeToo campaign during the autumn of 2020 by signing their ‘zero tolerance for sexual harassment’ pledge to express our commitment to changing the culture that has allowed harassment to take place in Denmark for many years. We have also taken steps to strengthen our commitment towards the inclusion of ethnic minorities and international talents. The latter was a result of an employee’s courage to share personal experience with discrimination and racially motivated harassment on the streets of Copenhagen. These stories sparked the work on improving the overall employee experience for international talents and ethnic minorities in Deloitte. We facilitated workshops on the topics onboarding and integrating internationals as well as including ethnic minorities, where the international community in Deloitte played an invaluable part. On ethnic minorities, we are teaming up with NGOs within the field and are planning to launch further initiatives this coming year.

Building a diverse workforce

Our people are Deloitte. They are our greatest asset and making sure our people thrive is a top priority. We work to nurture our talents by creating an equal playing field where diversity is embraced, and everyone feels included - regardless of gender, race, religion or background. If we fail to build a more diverse workforce, it will pose a risk to our future business. Not only will we lose out on a great amount of talent and innovation skills and be unable to meet our clients’ expectations nor mirror their workforce. Research also shows that more diverse management teams equate to better decision making. Achieving diversity of thought is therefore one of our three key strategic choices.

While diversity comes in many shapes, a better gender balance is our primary focus. When it comes to junior levels, we have a more equal gender distribution with 40 per cent women in total and 48 per cent amongst new hires in FY21. However, we still have room for improvement if we look at more senior levels, where 34 per cent are women. Among the new senior hires in FY21, we have 41 per cent women.

Therefore, we have spent the past years working intensely on implementing structured and transparent processes for recruitment, performance evaluation and promotion. These efforts are showing positive results already. We see that structured processes and more objective criteria for promotions provide better dialogues around talent and potential, which has increased both the share of female promotions to senior levels and the number of experienced women hired. As a result of many years’ efforts, the number of women at the senior manager and director level has increased from 31.8 per cent last year to 34 per cent this year.

In addition, we have joined The Confederation of Danish Industries’ Gender Diversity Pledge and thus committed to ensuring that the Danish business community will jointly reach the target of a 40/60 gender distribution in management and boards of directors by 2030. Fostering inclusion and embracing diversity holds many perspectives. Gender balance is just one piece of the puzzle. Still, it remains a must-win-battle for Deloitte, and we will continue to work on initiatives to close the gap.

Gradual progress on women in leadership positions is evident at the partner level. Amongst the elected board members, our target is to have at least 25 per cent female or male board members. *However, due to an organisational change in leadership the percentage of women in the management team went down this financial year, but with the recent addition of Mette Louise Kaagaard as managing partner for our Risk Advisory business as of June 2021, the percentage is now back at 20. Our two employee-elected board members are women as well. The Board is also more diverse in terms of professional backgrounds, geography and international experience, to ensure we reflect a global view. As determined by the Danish Act on Approved Auditors and Audit Firms, the majority of the board members are certified public auditors.

At the partner level, 13 per cent are female, up from 12.1 per cent last year. This is not an acceptable level. But with 40 per cent women amongst the most recently appointed partners we are seeing progress in the talent pipeline and our initiatives are working, but we need to accelerate this.

How will we reach our targets?

We continue to have a persistent focus on gender balance in all processes and structures. Achieving gender balance in senior leadership roles requires more than just looking at partner promotions. Consequently, we have worked dedicatedly to implement structured performance evaluation processes. We have also developed a systematic approach to identify, monitor and follow-up on pipelines for the promotion of women at all levels. This is done to increase female representation at all levels and inspire a new generation of female business leaders. To move faster in the right direction, we are also empowering female talents through network-building and working with a more equal gender balance in the succession planning of commercial leadership roles. Our internal mentoring among talented women helps upcoming partners learn what being a partner really means and if it is something they want to pursue. This initiative has come off to a good start in the past year and will be scaled up over the next year.


At our Leadership Academy, our leaders have built new capabilities and developed their leadership skills. We particularly train our leaders in providing feedback and ongoing coaching in line with our performance management approach. Leaders are also trained to be inclusive by enabling them to be aware of personal biases as well as be more curious and open towards new perspectives. This year, we piloted a new course in unconscious bias to help our leaders spot their own biases and act with courage to address them. This is all part of our individual and strength-based approach to performance management, which is designed to strengthen our managers’ skills.

In the latest Upward Feedback survey – where employees can give anonymous feedback to their leaders – the results confirm that we continue to make progress with the 'Inclusive Leadership' score climbing from 4.41 to 4.44 out of 5. We are happy to see that our training efforts make a difference and that our leaders are becoming more inclusive. 

Deloitte is our people, and every single talent initiative aims to attract, develop and retain the best talents – from offering flexible working conditions to focusing on well-being and individual career paths. To make sure we are visible at universities, an internal task force hosts events, talks and much more.

One initiative worth highlighting is our Female Academy – a programme that aims to spark an early interest in a long-term career at Deloitte amongst female students. Over the past year, the initiative has grown and is now driven by a dedicated group of young female employees across our five business units. This has given the programme an even stronger platform and enabled the participants to engage in a network of talented peers at an early stage in their careers - read more here. Initiatives like this enable us to link our talents’ visions for Deloitte with how we attract and retain a diverse workforce.

Our efforts to attract the most talented and diverse profiles have been rewarded again this year, as Universum has ranked us the #3 most attractive employer among 3,700 business students. This year, we are particularly happy to move up the ladder as #4 among female business students, as well as increase our attractiveness among students within IT, natural sciences and engineering.

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