KPMG: Engaging staff through the issue of gender equality

Business in the Community Ireland

Company description

KPMG is a leading provider of professional services in Ireland. Our firm has 78 partners and 1800 people in offices in Dublin, Cork, Galway and Belfast. We provide clients in all sectors of Irish business with a range of Audit, Tax and Advisory services. The cornerstones of our business are quality of advice, quality of service and quality of our people.

 

Business Issue

.KPMG’s Corporate Social Responsibility strategy articulates how both KPMG and staff have an immense role and opportunity to positively impact surrounding communities. KPMG has an ongoing relationship with the well-known international charity, Concern, including the provision of pro-bono audit services and recently selecting it as one of seven worldwide KPMG International Disaster Relief partners. However we wanted to go beyond these linkages and support a project whose objective was to work on Millennium Development Goal 3 – Promoting gender equality and empowering women – and encourage staff engagement with important social issues at the same time.

 

Solution Applied

Working with Concern, we developed and sponsor the ‘Pathways to a Better Life’ project that targets the extremely poor in Haiti.  KPMG has made a three year commitment to the initiative.  Many Haitians live in extreme poverty, with 54 per cent living on less than $1 a day.  Rural populations and women are disproportionately affected by this with high maternal mortality, a lack of access to health services and basic financial services, low literacy rates, lack of assets and livelihoods skills, very low incomes and food insecurity. These issues interlink to keep people in extreme poverty.

 

To address this, our project seeks to increase economic activity in order to bring about economic development.  The KPMG sponsored programme offers people the opportunity to earn money in their own community.  Practical business training is provided (e.g. in goat rearing) that is also complemented by marketing and general business skills.  The project assists and advises people in managing their household and personal finances.

 

Company Benefits

The relationship with Concern offers a range of opportunities for staff engagement through 3 to 6 month secondments, payroll giving and fundraising for International Women’s Day.

 

Stakeholder Benefits

“Ultra-poor” female-led households (families without land to farm, living in one room and lacking funds to educate their children) selected through a rigorous and participatory process, directly benefit from this project.  KPMG’s project funding directly assisted 80 people in total in 2012.  We are heartened by the response on the ground and by its acceptance within the local community.  We expect even greater take-up in 2013.  Our plan is to continue our work with Concern and to look at opportunities as they arise to add further value to the charity.

 

Challenges

We reviewed a number of projects with Concern before selecting this one as a ‘good fit’ with KPMG’s brand, CSR strategy and goals.

 

Tip

Define an area that is of interest to your organisation (in KPMG it was empowering women) and partner with a like-minded organisation to come up with a suitable project that meets your strategic needs.

 

Department Involved

HR/CSR – Karina Howley, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility karina.howley@kpmg.ie

 

 Year

2012