The top equality, diversity and inclusion stories...

News Team, 07/07/2023

2023 eprivateclient Excellence Award winning firms Burges Salmon and KPMG were named in The Times Top 50 Employers for Gender Equality 2023. It is the third year in a row that Burges Salmon has featured and the 13th that KPMG has been included.

This year saw the highest number of applicant organisations. Applications were evaluated in three independent rounds of blind assessment on the work undertaken to remove gender inequalities in the workplace, from flexible working to family-friendly policies, to pay, reward, progression at work, and hearing employees’ lived experiences and voices.

Fellow Big Four advisory firms Deloitte and Pwc were also named in the list as well as another accountancy firm, Grant Thornton. Within the legal sphere, six other law firms joined Burges Salmon, including Addleshaw Goddard, DWF, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Linklaters. [Read more]

Only half of LGBTQ+ workers in the UK are comfortable being out about their sexual orientation with colleagues at work, according to research from big four advisory firm Deloitte.

Deloitte’s 2023 LGBT+ Inclusion @ Work report looked at the experiences of 5,474 LGBTQ+ people in the workplace in multiple sectors across 13 countries, through the lens of sexual orientation and gender identity.

The research found that, despite employees’ hesitancy to talk about any aspect of their private lives at work (49 percent in the UK compared to 37 percent globally) and concerns about being treated differently (shared by 43 percent of UK respondents compared to 39 percent globally), more UK LGBTQ+ employees feel comfortable being out at work with anyone than their global counterparts (52 percent in the UK compared to 43 percent globally). [Read more]

The overall UK gender pay gap has fallen at the fastest year on year pace in six years, according to PwC research.

Among UK companies that disclose their mean gender pay gap, the national median has seen the most notable annual decline of 0.7 percent, dropping from 12.9 percent in 2021/22 to 12.2 percent in 2022/23.

The analysis also highlighted a decrease in the median hourly pay gap - a reduction from 9.8 percent in 2021/22 to 9.2 percent in 2022/23. [Read more]

The adoption of the technology is growing, according to EY’s 2023 Metaverse Readiness Survey.

Nearly half (47 percent) of UK business leaders are already investing in or using the technology in some capacity, with 61 percent believing they cannot afford to be absent from it.

However, the survey prompted concern that diversity, equality & inclusion (DE&I) initiatives are not currently a priority for business leaders as they build their capabilities, with 39 percent saying there is a risk that business interests will trump user rights such as accessibility, diversity and inclusion.

That said, the responses showed there is optimism around the benefits that metaverse technologies could have in furthering DE&I initiatives, if managed carefully.

As a result, 65 percent of the surveyed executives say their companies recognise the DE&I implications and are actively looking at how to manage risks. [Read more]

Social class and nepotism are impacting early career opportunities for young people, according to new research from KPMG UK.

The study of 2,000 adolescents found that those from low socio-economic backgrounds were less likely to have gained either formal or informal work experience.

A total 40 percent of those from low socio-economic backgrounds had gained exposure to the world of work, compared to almost half (47 percent) of young people on average.

And of those who obtained work experience, this was more commonly arranged via a family member or friend (45 percent), rather than via their school (32 percent). [Read more]

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