The firm aims to increase the numbers of women partners to 25 percent, and the number of women in senior leadership roles to 40 percent by 1 July 2016.
KPMG’s National Head of People, Performance and Culture, Susan Ferrier said, "We recognise that women are under represented in senior leadership positions and that this needs to change. If we are unable to fully utilise the talents of 50 percent of our people, we can’t claim to have a truly diverse and inclusive workplace."
"Diversity enriches an organisation and enhances its competitive position. It contributes to better problem solving and decision making, fosters greater innovation and enhances organisational effectiveness and performance. Setting targets is a tangible demonstration of our commitment to fostering diversity and improved gender representation across our firm," she added.
KPMG will utilise a range of strategic initiatives to achieve the targets including:
- Applying a diversity lens in recruitment and appointments for internal roles – KPMG will now require that at least one female candidate is shortlisted when recruiting a senior lateral hire or making a senior internal appointment. The successful candidate will be selected on merit but the firm will ensure that all talent is considered.
- Senior leadership sponsorship – KPMG’s National Executive Committee, Board, Divisional Executives and State Chairs will participate in a program to be an effective sponsor for both male and female talent into more senior leadership roles.
- Partner interviews – KPMG will conduct in-depth interviews with female partners to identify practical ways to continue to improve inclusiveness across the firm. KPMG will also hold discussion forums and focus groups to empower our female talent to build solutions for improved retention of senior women.
- Flexible working pilot – KPMG will run a flexible working pilot to provide insights on the opportunities to better utilise 'flexible working'. The pilot will involve a series of in-tact team coaching sessions, team workshops, focus groups, and internal and client stakeholder interviews over four months.
- Embedding gender diversity perspective into business processes – KPMG will continue to incorporate the gender diversity perspective into business processes such as performance reviews, goal setting process and talent and succession management to ensure continuous improvemement.
"Diversity and inclusion is increasingly important to our clients. We can be better advisors to our clients if we can offer greater diversity of background, thinking and capability," said Ms Ferrier.
KPMG commits to report on progress annually.