KPMG LLP’s Great Place to Build a Career initiative is a comprehensive set of programs, resources, and benefits that has transformed the firm into an inclusive employer of choice which partners and employees, including women and people of color, consider a great place to work. Using diversity and inclusion as a strategic imperative to drive change, KPMG has built a culture of career growth, mentoring, and accountability that focuses on recruiting, retaining, and developing talented people from a diverse pool of backgrounds and experiences. In addition, feedback and ideas from partners and employees at all levels continually shape programs and tools to create change from within.
Since its launch in 2002, KPMG’s Great Place to Build a Career initiative has been formalized among, communicated to, and embraced by all partners and employees at the firm with the goal of making KPMG an “employer of choice.” The initiative consists of a robust recruiting strategy, including unconscious bias training for recruiters and a targeted mentoring program for new hires who are people of color. Other cornerstone components include transparency around career paths through an interactive set of online resources and tools, enhanced person-to-person career guidance provided by People Management Leaders—professionals who have an aptitude for career coaching—and a robust mentoring culture supported by a formal program with 6,000 mentors and nearly 10,000 mentees. Close tracking of mentoring pairs shows solid results. In 2008, turnover among mentored staff and managers was about 18 percent lower than turnover of those without mentors; for mentored partners, it was 50 percent lower. Other tracking mechanisms and formal accountability processes include monitoring human capital metrics such as retention and promotion rates and administering upward feedback, client engagement reviews, and employee surveys. Diversity goals and performance are also linked to compensation and bonuses for all partners and employees.
Great Place to Build a Career has demonstrated strong results for women. In 2008, women comprised 18.2 percent of partners, up from 12.9 percent in 2003. Also, women of color represented 10.2 percent of managing directors, directors, senior managers, and managers, up from 5.7 percent in 2003. Turnover among both women and men has decreased over the course of the initiative, dropping 36.3 percent for women and 24.5 percent for men between 2003 and 2008.