Press releases

UN recognises Deloitte UK Chief Executive with gender equality award

15 March 2016

Over 300 leaders from business, civil society, Government and the United Nations (UN) gathered at the UN Headquarters in New York City on Tuesday 15th March for the 2016 Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs) event, Business Partners for Gender Equality: Multipliers for Development. Participants examined how diverse companies around the world are implementing the Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs).

David Sproul, Senior Partner and Chief Executive, Deloitte UK, received an award for his demonstrated commitment to and implementation of policies that advance and empower women in the workplace, marketplace and community. The award included recognition of Deloitte’s use of concrete data to drive ‘a cross-cutting gender equality strategy throughout business operations’.

David Sproul, Senior Partner and Chief Executive of Deloitte UK, said: “I am honoured by this recognition of the work we have done at Deloitte to make gender equality a business priority. The imperative for greater gender equality is clear for all businesses, not just morally but commercially. For Deloitte it’s critical to how we run our business, retain talented individuals and best serve our clients. Equally, we know it is something our clients care about too.

“Last year we published details of our gender pay gap, outlining the measures we are undertaking to address it. This was a critical step in showing that we are serious about tackling gender diversity in our firm. While our gap did not surprise us, and in reality proved what we knew, it enabled us to confirm that we are focusing on the right actions, namely: attracting more women into our firm; enabling their development; and providing an environment within which they can balance a successful career with life outside work. Supporting our broader approach to diversity, it is not just about programmes – it is also about ensuring that the culture is appropriate.

“We have an ambition that 25% of our partners will be women by 2020 and in June we announced the promotion of 22 new female partners. This is driving the culture of opportunity we are creating across the firm. We have also taken a number of steps to support these objectives, most recently introducing a return-to-work programme designed to support women back into employment. Another important move was Deloitte’s WorkAgility initiative, where the firm provides its people with the ability to be agile in terms of how, when and where they work. This provides a working environment where people can balance a successful career with their daily lives, whether that be for family commitments or other outside interests.”

Joseph Keefe, Co-chair of the WEPs Leadership Group and President and Chief Executive Officer of Pax World Funds, who presented the awards in the historic Trusteeship Council Chamber of the United Nations, said: "The WEPs are an effective tool to advance women in business and society. The WEPs CEO Leaderships Awards bring to life concrete actions and measurable impacts that are changing workplaces, marketplaces and communities. As a previous Awards recipient, I know that this prestigious award gives companies encouragement to press forward with this important work."


Laura Parsons
Deloitte LLP
+44 20 7303 0885
+44 7826 952940

Joseph Keefe, Co-chair of the WEPs Leadership Group and President and Chief Executive Officer of Pax World Funds, presents the award to David Sproul.

David Sproul at the 2016 Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs) event.

Notes to editors
The two-day Women’s Empowerment Principles event, held as an official side event of the 60th session of the Commission on the Status of Women, included keynote speeches from UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and His Excellency Mr. Luis Guillermo Solís Rivera, President of Costa Rica who discussed the importance of multi-stakeholder partnerships to help meet national and global gender equality goals and targets. The Women's Empowerment Principles – Equality Means Business – a joint initiative of UN Women and the UN Global Compact – is currently supported by over 1,100 CEOs and outlines seven steps for business to empower women in the workplace, marketplace and community.

The 2016 WEPS CEO Leadership Awards also recognised:

  • Jean-Paul Agon, Group Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, L’Oréal (France) - Benchmarking for Change WEPs CEO Leadership Award
  • Federico Bernaldo de Quiros, Chief Executive Officer, Toks Restaurantes (Mexico) – Community Engagement WEPs CEO Leadership Award
  • Lance Hockridge, Chief Executive Officer Aurizon (Australia)- Cultural Change for Empowerment WEPs CEO Leadership Award
  • Michael Landel, Chief Executive Officer, Sodexo (France) and Janet Awad, Regional Chair of Latin America and Country President, Sodexo Chile (Chile) – 7 Principles WEPs CEO Leadership Award

About the Women’s Empowerment Principles
The Women's Empowerment Principles – Equality Means Business is a joint initiative of UN Women and the UN Global Compact. The Principles, which were developed in 2010, outline seven steps for business on how to empower women in the workplace, marketplace and community. The WEPs provide a ready-made platform to mobilize corporate action and catalyze partnerships and collaborations that have the potential to deepen and accelerate impact, benefiting women and girls, families, businesses, and economies around the world. Learn more at

About the 2016 WEPs CEO Leadership Awards
The 2016 Women’s Empowerment Principles Annual Event inaugurates the WEPs CEO Leadership Award to salute CEO commitment and innovation to realize gender equality. Since 2013, the WEPs Annual Event includes the announcement of the WEPs CEO Leadership Awards saluting five exceptional CEOs for championing gender equality and the 7 WEPs, in particular Principle One, which urges CEOs to lead by example.

The WEPs CEO Leadership Awards Committee is comprised of members of the WEPs Leadership Group, a multi-stakeholder volunteer body that provides strategic guidance to the WEPs partnership of the UN Women and the UN Global Compact. It represents business, academia, civil society, women’s organizations and international institutions. For complete information about the Awards, winners and Awards Committee, please

About Deloitte
In this press release references to Deloitte are references to Deloitte LLP, which is among the country's leading professional services firms.

Deloitte LLP is the United Kingdom member firm of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (“DTTL”), a UK private company limited by guarantee, whose member firms are legally separate and independent entities. Please see for a detailed description of the legal structure of DTTL and its member firms.

The information contained in this press release is correct at the time of going to press.

Member of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited.

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