2020 Annual Report

4 min read

Our Black Action Plan

Story synopsis

  • The killing of George Floyd has sparked a global anti-racism movement – and with it, an important opportunity for reflection, in both in our society and in our firm.
  • Our Black Action Plan outlines five commitments in relation to our recruitment practices, opportunities for development and promotion to how we engage with our clients, and the charities and social enterprises we support.
  • It’s a key part of our global shared values of inclusion and taking care of each other.

As a firm we are proud to lead with purpose and values. So it is important to recognise that, while we have made some positive progress on inclusion in recent years, ultimately the actions we’ve taken in the past to create a more diverse workplace are simply not enough.

To start making meaningful change, we first wanted to understand and hear from our people, specifically our Black colleagues.

Listening sessions provided an opportunity for our Black colleagues to share their personal experiences of racism and discrimination, and for all of our people to have a frank discussion about how to take action together.

Understanding and action

The first initial impact has been understanding. The second is our Black Action Plan.

Richard Odufisan, a manager in consulting and one of the action plan leads, sums up the impact to him: “As a Black person, I felt Deloitte empowered every member of the Black community to be seen and heard. The listening sessions provided a non-biased platform to tackle inequality and microaggressions.”

“And for some non-Black colleagues, it was the first time they were exposed to hearing such stories and gave them an insight to a breadth of experience outside of their own realities.”

Brought together by colleagues from across the firm, including our People & Purpose leaders, our Ethnicity Council and our Multicultural Network, the plan was shared in a webinar hosted by CEO Richard Houston and People & Purpose leader Dimple Agarwal for all of our 20,000 people in the UK.

It’s there to make sure our ambitions are backed up with sustained action we can hold ourselves accountable for.

Action plan – why it matters

Our plan addresses specific challenges faced by the Black community. It is not a standalone plan, but is embedded in our wider inclusion agenda. It is also part of our global shared values of inclusion and taking care of each other.

Based on five key commitments, the plan covers everything from our recruitment practices, opportunities for development and promotion to how we engage with our clients, and the charities and social enterprises we support.

Our Black Action Plan

Each action comes with measurable objectives that ensure we will:

1. Provide equal opportunities

We will review every step of the employee lifecycle – from how we attract and recruit talent, through to promotion and pay processes to ensure our Black and Ethnic Minority colleagues are treated fairly.

2. Focus on developing people to succeed and thrive

We will design and deliver development programmes that support our Black and Ethnic Minority colleagues to thrive and become leaders of the future.

3. Drive and evolve culture and behaviours

Recognising that achieving real and meaningful change requires everyone to think and act differently, we will implement cultural change that starts with education and understanding. This will include rolling out a mandatory training programme on ethnicity and race, and launching a Black Allies programme within our firm.

4. Influence change

We will continue to use our network to help bring about social change – working with clients, industry peers, charity partners and suppliers. This includes developing a new relationship with The Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust and expanding our portfolio of Black-owned social enterprises to include the Black Curriculum.

5. Measure and report on targets and outcomes

We are committing to 12 per cent of Ethnic Minority and 3 per cent of Black partners by 2025. We will also commit to targets across other grades to create the future pipeline. Our leaders will be held accountable for these targets.

Moving in the right direction - together

We recognise that we are all starting at different points – and are determined to move together in the right direction.

This series of deliberate actions will help us to improve diversity, equality and inclusion in our firm and - critically - change the experience of our Black colleagues for the better.

Dimple Agarwal, managing partner for People & Purpose, added: “We have listened, learned and started an important journey with people across the firm and with our Black colleagues. I want to personally thank my colleagues who have shared their stories so courageously and provided honest feedback.”

“I have been humbled, saddened and shocked by what I’ve heard. We are deeply committed to this action plan and the wider commitment by the firm that we can, and will, make a change.”

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