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Everyone is welcome

Bringing alive IntoUniversity’s diversity and inclusion strategy.


Three years after the start of COVID-19, it's clear that the pandemic has exacerbated education-related inequalities – making the work carried out by UK education charities more important than ever.

Deloitte is proud to partner with a number of these charities through our 5 Million Futures initiatives - including IntoUniversity, which works with young people from disadvantaged backgrounds to help them secure a university place or realise their chosen aspiration.


A partnership powered by future thinking

At IntoUniversity local learning centres, our people in Leeds and Southampton have run skills and mentoring sessions for students on how to navigate their career aspirations. They also participated in career days where Deloitte volunteers introduced students to the world of work, inspiring them to join organisations like ours in the future.

Our award-winning work also includes a series of pro bono projects with Deloitte professionals providing skills to help the charity grow its reach and impact. Projects worked on included data assurance to help the charity attract more funding, a public affairs strategy and a review of the charity’s environmental footprint to help shape a sustainability strategy.

Most recently, IntoUniversity asked Deloitte to support its newly formed Diversity and Inclusion Forum as it set out to develop the charity’s first D&I strategy.

Enter Darriane Garrett and Rachael Knight from Deloitte Risk Advisory, who work with organisations of all sizes and sectors to develop or refine their D&I strategies. In the first phase of work, Darriane and Rachel conducted focus groups with staff members at all levels to identify barriers and opportunities around enhancing D&I at IntoUniversity. The team then proposed to extend the work by consolidating their findings into recommendations - resulting in a second report that set out a framework for the D&I Forum to use in developing its strategy.

A key priority was to make sure that IntoUniversity’s young beneficiaries could see themselves represented in the people delivering the charity’s education programmes. The strategy therefore incorporates a focus on inclusive recruitment, as well as elements to build a culture with D&I at its heart to help attract talent from underrepresented groups and disadvantaged social backgrounds.

“We work daily with young people from a diverse range of backgrounds. It is crucial for us to reflect this diversity in our workforce, and to be inclusive in everything we do. Internally, we had initiated important projects, but we needed external input to help us take stock of our progress and translate some of our initiatives into a more focused approach.”

Dan Century
Chief Finance Officer, IntoUniversity

“What mattered most to us is that the work we did made a genuine impact on the charity and its ability to enhance the education prospects of young people – that is what drove our commitment and enthusiasm for the project.”

Darriane Garrett

Director, Risk Advisory, Deloitte UK

An equal impact

In addition to supporting both IntoUniversity’s mission and Deloitte’s 5 Million Futures' aims, the project has benefitted the team on both professional and personal levels.

Darriane explains: “It’s common for a relatively small third sector organisation like IntoUniversity to think they may be behind the curve on D&I, but they showed real maturity in taking our findings on board and using them to shape their strategy. In turn, we learnt a lot from their openness and responsiveness, and we now share some of those learnings within Deloitte and with other clients.”

But Darriane is also clear on what was most important to her and Rachael in delivering the project.

Rachael adds: “D&I is not industry-specific, and we work with a variety of organisations facing similar challenges of creating a diversity and inclusion strategy. What set IntoUniversity apart is just how much people in all parts of the charity care about making their charity the most inclusive place it can be. Everyone we spoke to recognised that D&I is at the heart of their work’s purpose, and that made it one of the most rewarding projects I have worked on.”

And from Dan’s perspective the project, and the strategy developed as a result, have succeeded in catalysing the entire organisation’s passion for inclusion: ”The most pleasing aspect of this work has been to embed a commitment to D&I into everyone’s role. Our teams now have specific goals around D&I. They are encouraged to assess their strengths and challenges, and to understand how each staff member can personally play their part. We’re so grateful to Deloitte for their expertise in supporting us on this important journey to make our strategy a reality.”


Buddy workshop for IntoUniversity students conducted by Deloitte Southampton volunteers

2023 Annual Review

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