PwC and KPMG oppose all-male candidate shortlists

PwC and KPMG have both indicated that they will no longer accept all-male lists of applicants for jobs in the UK in an attempt to increase the number of women in senior roles

PwC has said it will ban all-male shortlists, and seek to avoid all-male interview panels, as it has identified recruitment as one of the ways to narrow the firm’s pay gap, with its latest report showing male staff on average earned 43.8% more than women.

Laura Hinton, chief people officer at PwC, said: ‘Diversity in our recruitment processes is something we've been focused on for some time and as part of this we are ensuring we have no all-male shortlists and more diverse interviewing panels. 

‘We're also going one step further and setting ourselves a 50/50 shortlist target for all direct recruitment activity. This is part of our wider action plan to promote diversity and inclusion in all forms, including gender, ethnicity and social mobility.’

PwC said the latest measure is part of a wider action plan, which also includes senior level accountability to build a diverse talent pipeline; driving fair allocation of work and opportunities so that more people get access to career-defining jobs; and focused recruitment activity, particularly at senior levels where the firm says it finds it harder to recruit women.

The firm offers a returnship programme, which encourages those who have taken a break from work, such as maternity leave, to do six months paid work experience, and has created additional  ‘progression coaches’ who will work with women and ethnic minorities employees to help develop their careers.

KPMG, whose gender pay gap stood at 42%, has held a meeting with its key recruitment agencies in which the firm made clear it did not expect to see all-male selections of candidates for jobs.

A KPMG spokesperson said: ‘We will be intolerant of firms that provide us with non-diverse shortlists. That isn’t a ban as such, but our expectations were made clear.

‘We expect our search firms to find us diverse candidates and we expect those candidates to be at the top of their game. We think that is achievable and we won’t tolerate anything else.’

Report by Pat Sweet

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