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Message from our Chair

Chair foreword

I am delighted to present our 2023 Impact Report. As I step into my new role as Chair, it was an opportune time to reflect on FY23, and what we as a business have achieved. As I think about our organisation and what it means to be purpose-led, I truly believe that our reason to exist goes beyond profit and economic success factors, and is grounded in our purpose - to make an impact for our clients, our people, our environment, local communities and broader society. From equity in education and health to inclusion at work, to collaborating to address urgent humanitarian and climate related crises, we are actively engaged in helping to address and create solutions to the most pressing challenges facing society today.

As we navigate our way through, our purpose and values drive our decision making. To be purpose led is not just about setting the right tone at the top. Yes, it starts with that. But it is more. It is about embedding purpose in every layer of our organisation, so it becomes something meaningfully felt by our people in their day-to-day work. This is continuous work for us as an organisation. It needs ongoing relentless focus to ensure that we can make the greatest impact on the issues that matter the most to our clients, our people, our communities and society.

Collaborating for Impact 

Our approach is to help lead the way through collaborations that enable our people to work with clients and communities on shared solutions.

One particular area of focus is supporting the next generation of leaders. We recognise that there is a clear business case for diversity and inclusion, with gender inclusivity a key component to that. Through our partnership with the 30% Club, we are equipping women with the pathways, tools and expertise they need to be ‘board ready’ and providing a network of peers to support them through shared experiences. A recent CSO Survey showed that board representation by female directors has increased from 22% to almost 25% in the past two years, but there has been less than a 1% increase in the overall number of female Senior Executives (now at 30.4%) over the same time frame. While we are making positive progress in Ireland, the pace of change is frustratingly slow.

We are also investing in and collaborating to encourage more women and girls pursue careers and studies in STEM subjects. 2023 saw the continuation of our 180 Days to Make a Difference mentoring programme, in partnership with I Wish, a community focused on inspiring, encouraging and motivating young girls to choose STEM subjects and career.

Within our own business, we have set out a clear action plan to measure and track our gender balance progress. While we are seeing improvements, there is much more to do, not only in the context of gender but also for other minority groups.

Creating an inclusive, open workplace

Ensuring we have a workplace culture that’s guided by our shared values, founded on respect, and characterised by inclusive behaviours is central to our strategy and who we are as an organisation. To promote and build a culture of inclusion and wellbeing, we have a range of initiatives and supports for our people. One such support is the Inclusion Passport, which is both a tool and a framework to enable people to have quality conversations on the supports they need to deliver their best work. Different people have different needs depending on their responsibilities, physical and mental health, and their individual circumstances. The Passport provides an opportunity for people to negotiate and agree supports with their team leads and coaches, so they don’t have to have the same conversation on numerous occasions. In addition, our hybrid and flexible working approach, Deloitte Works, has been designed to help all of our people, and enhance our wellbeing supports.

Peer-to-peer support is also an important part of our inclusion strategy, and we have several employee-led inclusion networks focused on increasing connection, reducing stigma and driving change across our business. These include Gender Balance, Mental Health, Parent & Caregiver, Pride, and this year saw the establishment of the Neurodiversity Network.

A year of inclusive growth

Our WorldClass ambition, which is part of our WorldImpact strategy, is to impact 100 million lives globally, and at least 300,000 in Ireland by 2030, through programmes and collaborations with an education and skills building focus. We invest our people’s time, provide volunteers, and donate funds to support our communities and make an impact. In the last year we have impacted over 50,300 futures and are now over halfway towards our 2030 goal. You can read more about our initiatives in this report.

Our social impact strategy also enables our people to develop and support charity projects they are passionate about. In 2022-2023, we doubled our People’s Impact Fund to €100,000 dedicated to causes closest to our people. But we know this is not enough and we will continue to make investments as we strive towards a more equitable and fair future.

Leveraging the collective intelligence, skills and ambition of our people will continue to be a focus over the coming year as we elevate our pro-bono framework, and ensure that people at all levels across our organisation have the opportunity to support this. We have also successfully launched our partnership with Boardmatch, a specialist in not-for-profit board recruitment, connecting our leadership team with opportunities to use their skills and experience on charity boards.

Our environmental sustainability ambition, WorldClimate, is focused on actions we take and actions we inspire, more on which is outlined in this report. We are embedding sustainability into our policies and practices throughout our organisation and measuring our performance against our goals. We are also empowering our people to take action to commit to reducing their carbon footprint through our partnership with GikiZero.

Looking to the future

Our stakeholders expect us to run a sustainable, socially conscious and responsible business, as do I and my fellow partners. As the world’s largest professional services firm, with over 3,000 people in Ireland, we have a responsibility to use our platform for good. As I embark on my first year as Chair, driving our purpose-led agenda will be a top priority. Transparency and accountability to ensure we are delivering on our ambition will be critical as we move our WorldImpact programmes forward.

We will continue to focus on building a diverse and inclusive workplace that reflects our society. We will continue to invest in our people and skills to drive change for our clients and our society. We will continue to drive our WorldClimate ambitions, and to ensure above all, we are purpose-led in how we operate.