The past year gave the world more—more responsibilities, financial uncertainty, extreme weather events, societal unrest and stress.
It also gave us less—less personal interaction, travel, entertainment, communal events and volunteer opportunities.
It was, more or less, a strange and challenging period for most people.
It also was an unusual year for organizations, like Deloitte, that are committed to helping people fulfill their aspirations and potential. To overcome the lack of in-person connections, we found innovative ways of developing and supporting our people to help them feel heard and valued. We also lent our professional capabilities and resources to the fight against COVID-19, while still advancing our goal of connecting underserved segments of society to education and jobs.
This year created a perfect storm for women, and challenged society to tackle tough conversations about racial equity. That’s why Deloitte’s global diversity, equity and inclusion strategy—ALL IN—places a deliberate and clear emphasis on the need for an inclusive everyday culture, underpinned at all times by respect.
In pursuit of advancing gender balance, we’ve created consistent global standards spanning the entire career lifecycle—from recruitment, promotion and succession processes to development, mentoring, sponsorship and flexible working.
We’ve developed a range of resources, from inclusive leadership training to practical tips and guidance, to help people feel more confident having conversations in the workplace about common diversity-related topics, including gender, race, sexual orientation, gender identity and disability. Deloitte Global’s award-winning “Can you see me?” film series was created to remind our people of the impact words and actions can have on others and to highlight the power of visible and vocal allyship for all underrepresented groups.
Diversity and inclusion sessions—and nearly all professional development the past year—was conducted virtually. Without access to temporarily shuttered Deloitte University (DU) facilities, we shifted to both formal online courses and a self-directed digital learning platform, called CURA, that gave Deloitte professionals access to a wide range of curated, customized content. These training approaches will remain valuable even as DU locations begin to reopen, post-pandemic.
Since the pandemic began, we have been particularly attuned to our professionals’ health. Deloitte teams continue to work seamlessly and tirelessly to protect and support our colleagues and their families in COVID-19 epicenters like Southeast Asia and South America. The pandemic has taken both a physical and mental toll on people in these countries and around the world. Accordingly, we have invested significant time helping Deloitte professionals better understand mental health challenges and address and reduce the stigma that’s often attached to poor mental health. Efforts to educate about and improve mental health have been delivered and supported through virtual workshops, podcasts and other communications, as well as additional chances to disconnect from work and reconnect with others.
For our communities, Deloitte has devoted significant resources toward fighting COVID-19. For example, Deloitte piloted an initiative with the government of India’s Haryana state to help provide health care in rural communities. The aim was to provide those impacted by the pandemic with the information and support they needed to recover at home, thereby freeing hospital capacity to treat the critically ill. Deloitte Africa is engaging with international donor organizations, ministries of health, the private sector and NGOs to understand local challenges and how Deloitte can help. And Deloitte Brazil worked closely with community organizations to provide food for more than 10,000 vulnerable families experiencing food security and hunger as a result of the pandemic.
These efforts will advance health equity in our communities and support better health care outcomes where they are needed most.
Our pandemic response did not derail Deloitte’s ongoing focus on working with leading education organizations to provide access to quality education and opportunities. Through Deloitte’s WorldClass ambition, we have impacted 20 million lives since 2018. More than 8.2 million individuals were reached during FY2021, despite the ongoing pandemic and school closures. The pandemic’s ripple effect, however, caused education inequity, unemployment and the skills gap to worsen. It also disrupted the education of more than 1.6 billion students. It’s estimated 24 million of those children may never return to school. Even before the pandemic, a fifth of all children were not at school at all. Without action, the effects of a year of lost learning, development and employment opportunities could further widen social and educational inequity for students and adults alike.
With that in mind, we are committing to impact 100 million people through WorldClass by 2030. That’s 50 million more futures we are promising to change.
In May 2021, Deloitte announced the launch of The WorldClass Education Challenge, an initiative inviting educators, entrepreneurs and innovators to work alongside Deloitte professionals to advance solutions that support access to a quality education for more of the world’s students. Solutions in Africa and Asia, where the majority of the world’s children and youth will live and learn over the next decade, are the primary focus. In collaboration with the World Economic Forum’s UpLink platform, Deloitte aims to discover, fund and scale novel educational approaches that have proven successful at advancing learning during the pandemic. The cohort that’s ultimately selected will receive up to US$1 million in professional services on a pro bono basis, financial grants, a dedicated relationship manager to support the organizations’ collaboration with Deloitte, and participation in selected Forum and Deloitte events, projects and communities.