Managing and sustaining a world of workplace diversity: the Accenture experience

Publication Date08 Aug 2008
AuthorIsmail Amla
SubjectHR & organizational behaviour
Managing and sustaining a world of
workplace diversity: the Accenture
Ismail Amla
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate how Accenture’s commitment to diversity is
reaping benefits for the business and its people on a global and a local level.
Design/methodology/approach – The article explores global initiatives and leadership behaviors that
demonstrate this commitment, as well as the experiences of individuals who benefit from them, in order
to combine global and individual perspectives.
Findings – These perspectives show that a deep commitment to diversity can reap the benefits of
retaining experienced employees, maintaining employee satisfaction and attracting new talent.
Originality/value – The ultimate outcome is a better service to customers through consistency of quality
service and high levels of innovation, in addition to mirroring the diversity of communities in which an
organization lives and works.
Keywords Equal opportunities, Social inclusion, Citizenship, Business environment, Social values
Paper type Research paper
As a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company
with more than 178,000 people in 49 countries, we at Accenture are fully committed
to embracing and mirroring the diversity of the communities in which we live and
work. The Accenture business imperative to attract and retain world-class talent drives a
focus on employee diversity, targeting core issues such as how to build, develop and use
diversity to drive innovation for the benefit of our clients and our business. This is a
responsibility we take very seriously, as is reflected by the programs and difficult measures
we have put in place worldwide to drive new policy creation and reinforce the right
leadership behaviors.
Our focus on diversity has been running for many years and our diversity performance now
represents a key element of our efforts to be a good corporate citizen and also of our wider
strategy to achieve and sustain high performance. Good corporate citizenship is central to
Accenture’s character and identity, and we look to make it a reality by living our core values
of stewardship, client value creation, respect for the individual, integrity, best people and
one global network. Across all these areas, we apply the same principles of high
performance that we use with our clients.
As the firm strives to live these values, where does HR come in? The answer is right at the
start. In our view, ethical HR is the bedrock of any ethical business. Ethical HR is clearly a
journey and we would not pretend to have all the answers. But the measures and controls we
have established mean we can always see how far we have come, and pinpoint
opportunities where further investment will make the biggest difference to our employees,
our clients and our business.
DOI 10.1108/14754390810893044 VOL. 7 NO. 5 2008, pp. 11-16, QEmerald Group Publishing Limited, ISSN 1475-4398
Ismail Amla is based at
Accenture, London, UK.

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