Diversity and inclusion is a business and people issue, connected to the sustainability and profitability of our firm, the quality of our relationships with clients and the solutions we provide. It influences our relationships with our people, our clients and our community. Our marketplace and our people are demanding change and we are determined to exceed their expectations in our mission to becoming the Clear Choice on the market.
Not only do our clients and our people expect a diverse and inclusive workplace but we also wish to reflect the communities where we live and work and attract and retain talented people from all backgrounds and walks of life.
Why diversity matters to KPMG in Malta
Firstly, I believe that inclusion and diversity is personal and you need to find your own story. At KPMG we encourage our people to continually share their stories, even at the beginning of their journey with the firm, in our induction we hold a workshop to share and listen to what inspires our new joiners. This also happens in our daily conversations with our people, in our learning programmes, management development and within networks throughout the firm people are always encouraged to share their stories, background, and their experiences in life.
When I consider inclusion and diversity and think of my own story, having had the opportunity to work and live in 5 different continents and interact and work with many wonderful and different people, I began to think about the notion of inclusion and diversity at a very early stage in my career and it has been a primary motivating factor for the work I do throughout my professional and personal life. Throughout my travels, I have had the opportunity to experience first-hand the emotional impact and behaviours that stem from feeling included, (and sometimes excluded) and the importance of feeling included and connected to the people you work with and feeling connected to the purpose of the firm.
I think back to the beginning of my career at KPMG over 3 years ago, where we had 18 nationalities making up 8% of our workforce and seeing the rapid growth in these figures where today we now have 28 nationalities which makes up 20% of our workforce. One of the things I am proud of, since joining the HR team in KPMG in Malta, is the way in which we have embraced the transformational change required to adjust and maximise the benefits of having a widely diverse workforce. Initially diversity was seen as a challenge for the firm, with having to manage the varying expectations of very diverse groups of people, such as the increased number of talented foreign people who had joined us, the increased number of millennials in our workplace, and the increased number of female participation. Having learned to embrace these changing dynamics, which has now become a reality for most firms operating in the Maltese market, these diverse dynamics have become some of our key positive differentiators in helping us to deliver innovative, robust decision making to our clients and communities. Some of the key differentiators are embedded in the in-depth globally influenced insights we are able to provide to our clients and communities, and the constructive challenge and broad perspectives that we bring to their work.
Secondly, I believe inclusion and diversity is about culture not about a series of HR initiatives. It's about how we do things. It is about respect with an eye on deliberately changing the way things are clearly linked to the business objectives of our firm. It has required personal leadership across the firm. Our leaders have stepped forward with courage, and have committed to change, and have had to make brave decisions along the way to embrace inclusion and diversity in our workplace.
Role modelling inclusion is something Pierre Zammit, Operations Director at KPMG Crimsonwing thinks about on a daily basis as he promotes flexible working options within his teams. "Being part of the IT industry, the rapid rate at which technology advances has required us to seek out skilled employees from beyond the local labour market. At KCw, we have experienced diversification in our workplace environment first-hand over the years. Motivated by the necessity to remain efficient and competitive in the market despite a skills shortage here in Malta, we were driven to broaden our own horizons. From being essential to our business growth all those years ago, nowadays the presence of over 31 nationalities working together in the office – making up 30% of our work force – provides a richness in perspectives that continues to facilitate our development."
KPMG is a place where our people feel empowered and supported to do extraordinary work no matter what background, gender, generation or nationality. Our strategy is to maximise our diversity of thought through valuing difference, such as gender, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation and different age groups. These differences are the basis of our strategy. An inclusive culture is one where our behaviours show that we don't just respect difference, we go out of our way to seek out and value different perspectives.