CEO: Pierre Nanterme
CDE: Nellie Borrero
Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company with approximately 261,000 employees and clients in more than 120 countries. The company’s business is structured around five operating groups –¬ communications, media and technology, financial services, health and public service, products and resources – which together consist of 19 industry groups. Accenture generated revenues of $27.9 billion in the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, 2012.
It is because of far-reaching, impressive and effective diversity efforts and commitment to workforce inclusiveness that we rated Accenture so highly on this year’s list.
Central to Accenture’s growth and success as a global company is an almost Zen-like philosophy on diversity. “Every employee is a respected member of our team; we value individual similarities and differences, recognizing them as the thousands of diverse pieces — or tiles — that contribute to our entire mosaic. We capitalize on the diversity of our workforce across countries, cultures, generations and a broad mix of educational experiences and backgrounds.”
The company boasts that it takes the widest possible view of inclusion and diversity, going beyond gender, race, religion, ethnicity, abilities, sexual orientation and gender identity and expression to create an environment that welcomes all forms of differences. Chairman and CEO Pierre Nanterme put it this way: “Diversity is essential to our ability to deliver high performance to clients. Our global workforce gives clients access to a rich range of talent, representing different styles, perspectives and experiences. This diversity is a critical strength that we work hard to maintain and foster. It makes us a better company on every dimension.”
Accenture points to its success in embracing women as an example. “The success of our women around the globe is key to our success, and we are committed to supporting their unique professional goals and aspirations. With more than 90,000 women – nearly 36 percent of our global workforce – we strive to provide an environment and culture that empower them to define their personal approaches to success.” Toward this goal, Accenture introduced a global women’s theme — Defining success. Your way — in March 2012 with a focus on developing women leaders and enabling them to thrive.
It established a Global Inclusion & Diversity program in 2003 that sets overall diversity strategy worldwide. Its goal is to make Accenture’s culture of inclusion and diversity central to the way it does business, serves clients and develops talent. It provides strategic guidance and support for diversity programs and activities in countries around the world and promotes a discrimination-free and harassment-free work environment for employees globally.
Moreover, an executive serves as Human Capital and Diversity lead in each of Accenture’s geographic locations. It is his or her responsibility to create programs that are meaningful to employees, communities and clients. Their work is complemented by an additional governance body whose members have demonstrated passion for diversity.
To push things along, senior executive compensation is based on performance against fiscal year objectives based on three areas of leadership contribution, one of which is people development. During the rating process, each Accenture leader is assessed on participation in inclusion and diversity as well as the broader success and outcomes of diversity activities in the Leader’s organization. Ratings drive performance pay including raises, bonus payments and stock grants.
Accenture also has a Diversity Council that includes members of the Global Management Committee. The council assesses the inclusion and diversity challenges faced by the company, sets strategic direction and prioritizes actions globally.
The company holds that individuals of diverse talents and backgrounds, unified by core values and common methodologies, position Accenture to deliver high performance and the best mix of world-class capabilities and experience.
“Fostering an inclusive, collaborative and diverse environment allows a company to attract and retain the best people, who bring innovation to clients and help build thriving local communities,” said Jorge Benitez, Accenture’s chief executive, United States and senior managing director, North America.
“We gain superior business and personal results by embracing diversity and having the ability to tap into everyone’s talents, abilities and experiences,” Benitez added. “This goes beyond gender, ethnicity or religion; it encompasses understanding the different experiences and perspectives of our people and the contributions they can make. We have found that we develop better solutions for clients when we harness that diversity and bring it to life within our teams.”