PwC reviews Elevate RAP for National Reconciliation Week

10 June 2021 Consultancy.com.au 3 min. read
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Reconciliation Week has concluded for another year, with PwC reviewing its progress in meeting its latest Reconciliation Action Plan commitments following a challenging 2020.

Big Four professional services firm PwC has taken the opportunity of National Reconciliation Week to review its diversity and inclusion program in respect to First Nations employees, vendors and the community. With Reconciliation Australia – the body which oversees the country’s Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) program – reaching its 20th anniversary this year, the theme for 2021 is “More than a Word: Reconciliation Takes Action”.

PwC in conjunction with PwC Indigenous Consulting launched its Elevate RAP two years ago in March of 2019 – ‘Elevate’ being the fourth of four stages in the reconciliation journey following Reflect, Innovate, and Stretch, designed for businesses and organisations with a proven track record of successfully embedding RAP initiatives which then wish to take on a leadership position in advancing national reconciliation.

PwC reviews Elevate RAP for National Reconciliation Week

As with everything, the global Covid-19 outbreak provides not just the backdrop to 2021 but practically its entire stage. For the Big Four, this meant a desperate scramble to safeguard their businesses and transition staff to a remote-working model, sudden priorities which according to PwC could have seen its RAP commitments go unmet or even slide. The firm however doubled-down, making reconciliation an even greater priority.

“On many occasions during the year, I joined events where the deep passion and care for Reconciliation was evident in our leadership and in all our teams,” said PwC’s National Reconciliation Governance Group co-chair Kim Cheater. “The intangible that was clear to me over the past year is just how important Reconciliation is to us and how it is becoming a fundamental part of our organisational culture.”

As just a few of the firm’s highlights, PwC has since launching its 2019 RAP doubled its Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander workforce, while over 90 percent of its staff have completed Cultural Awareness training – the highest completion rate of any of its internal training to date. The firm has also exceeded its procurement target of a 2.5 percent contestable spend on First Nations suppliers, reaching 2.9 percent despite a drop in overall spending.

As part of its drive to tackle homelessness, PwC also achieved its aim of investing 7,500 hours or the monetary equivalent to organisations that are working to end Indigenous homelessness. Perhaps of greatest note though, PwC Australia has now incorporated the requirement to consider any potential direct or adverse impact on First Nations communities before accepting a client engagement – the first of any jurisdiction in PwC’s worldwide network to institute such a condition.

“It’s been incredibly pleasing to see that, despite such uncertainty, we’ve been able to make significant steps in our Reconciliation Action Plan,” commented PwC CEO Tom Seymour. “As a firm, we recognise we still have much more to do and will continue to embed a First Nations voice in everything we do, be bold in providing a platform for truth telling, and collaborate with other organisations leading the way in reconciliation.”