Be Yourself

Our experience shows that creating a firm where our people can be themselves leads to enhanced success, increases profitability, diverse decision-making and - quite simply - makes life more enjoyable.

Our 'BE YOURSELF' Strategy

If we aspire to build a culture where everyone can be themselves, we need to ensure that people feel they belong and are included at every point of their career at BDO. Our Be Yourself strategy is founded on our Core Purpose – helping you succeed – and allows us to check that at four levels: Leadership, Culture, Selection and Development.

What does this mean in practice?

It means we value you as an individual and want you to realise your aspirations. We know that if you bring your ‘full self’ to work and feel a sense of belonging, you are far more likely to be successful. You have a voice and your opinion counts.

What are our recent developments?

  • We refreshed our Be Yourself strategy which drives all our action relating to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion  
  • As part of our Race Action Plan, we’ve continued conversations about race – both through an award-winning video and our CEDAR Network Mentoring Programme 
  • In November 2021, we met our publicly stated ambition of reaching 20% female partners 
  •  In November 2021, our Leadership Team signed off new ambitions to reach 30% female Partners by the end of  2030, and 10% BAME Partners by the end of 2026, of which 10% will identify as being of Black heritage  
  • To mark World Day of Cultural Diversity 2022, we launched our eCookbook containing over 40 recipes from colleagues across the firm.  

Gender Balance

As part of our commitment to Gender Balance, we are proud to be signatories of the HM Treasury’s Women in Finance Charter. This is a commitment by HM Treasury and signatory firms to work together to build a more balanced and fair financial services industry. 

When we signed up to the Charter in 2019, we originally set the ambition of 20% by July 2021. Since achieving this in November 2021 (with a slight delay due to the impact Covid-19), we set our new ambition of 30% female partners by the end of 2030. 

Our definition of ‘senior management’, in relation to the Charter, includes all of our salaried and equity partners. As at September 2023 we have 22% female representation in senior management and are on track to meet our 2030 ambition.

By signing up to the Charter, we have committed to:

  • Having a member of our senior executive team (Managing Partner), who is responsible and accountable for gender diversity
  • The Managing Partner having an objective which is linked to gender diversity targets 

Over the last year we have also continued to develop our wider Gender Balance Plans including:

  • Our Leadership Team and business leaders all actively monitor our gender balance and progression pipelines to ensure we are on track to meet our ambitions
  • Listening events run by the Leadership Team with a particular focus on the engagement scores across females at Senior Manager/Director level, so we can understand the specific challenges that these women face and work to support them.   
  • Maintaining our commitment to the 30% club mentoring programme, with an increased number of mentors and mentees 
  • The continued support of our active gender network (Inspire) and the set up of new local networks including “Women in Tax” and “Women in Advisory; all of which are focused on supporting the firm to build a gender balanced workforce. 

We are focused on gender balance and increasing representation, particularly at senior levels, not just because it is the right thing to do, but because it is vital for the culture, sustainability and performance of the firm.

IWD Report

International Women's Day #EmbraceEquity

International Women’s Day is an important annual event globally, and an opportunity to push diversity, equity and inclusion forward. This year, it’s a moment for all of us to better understand, reflect and raise awareness of what equity, this year’s central theme, means in practice – and what we can each do to make our own environment more equitable. As a BDO Global Network, we have published a 2023 International Women’s Day report, featuring a number of our inspirational women across the network.
Read our report herechevron_right

International Women's Day 2023

This International Women’s day (IWD), BDO UK celebrates the achievements of women who have been nominated by their peers and allies for their contribution to gender equity and making positive change to their people, policies and processes in their organisations. Collated in the below booklet are all nominee submissions received, read why they are being celebrated this #IWD.
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Diversity and Inclusion Networks

Well-represented groups with strong and prominent role models are important throughout BDO.

We embrace individuality along with collaborative working; Being Collaborative is critical between our networks. We believe that ‘difference’ is what makes us great and what strengthens our team, which is why we foster an inclusive culture at BDO that encourages people to be themselves

BDO Networks

Race in the workplace

During the year, we announced an important new ambition for representation in terms of race and ethnicity. By the end of  2026, 10% of our partnership will be from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic heritage and, of that, 10% will be of Black heritage.

This is a real step in the right direction and one that I fully support as we move towards making the partnership more representative of the wider community that we serve. 

Race Action Plan: Our 5 Commitments

BDO Race plan Infographic

What have we been doing?

  • Launching unconscious bias & inclusive leadership training
  • Participating in the #10000 Black Interns programme
  • Launching The Black Heritage Insight Programme 
  • Running its very first CEDAR mentoring scheme bringing together 60 mentees and mentors from across the firm to help with networking, confidence building and career planning 
  • Launching our ‘Let’s Talk About Race’ video 
  • Participating in the Black Professional Services Collective (BPSC) Mentoring scheme 
  • Signed up to Race At Work Charter, which helps us codify our actions and challenges us to meet them, and we’ll continue to work with all our colleagues – not just black or BAME – to ensure we live up to those actions. This has led to our Race Action Plan.
  • Activated listening events so more people can hear from our black colleagues and allies: locally, centrally and individually
  • Shared resources to help people learn; many people are finding this Harvard Unconscious Bias test useful
  • Created a structure for ‘Mentoring Circles’, which we believe will provide support and professional development for the BAME Community, as well as our other community groups.

Social Mobility

Improving social mobility and socio-economic diversity in our profession and society as a whole is a complex but important issue. We know BDO must play a role in helping to achieve this and that’s why we have a formal social mobility strategy in place, designed to make a real impact. 

Our Social Mobility programmes and partnerships aim to create opportunities for young people, no matter what their background, who they know or where they are from. This includes our own annual targeted virtual insight programme ‘Explore BDO’, providing mentoring and skills workshops through to the ICAEW’s RISE programme and our partnership with social mobility charity Leadership Through Sport & Business, supporting young people from less privileged backgrounds to kick-start their careers in business. 

Culture and Impact Report 2023

This year’s fifth annual Culture & Impact Report covers the year ended 1 July 2023. Our Culture & Impact Report is a publication where we put our strategy and our people stories in one place to showcase how core purpose and values sculpt our culture and to demonstrate the actions we take to stay attuned to cultural and societal changes.
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People at the office

Our Culture

Our Unifying Culture priorities are Be Yourself, Wellbeing and Citizenship.
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People celebrating

Our Purpose & Values

Our Core Purpose defines ‘why’ we do what we do, our Values define ‘how’ we behave along the way.
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People at the office

Citizenship & Wellbeing

How do we tackle Wellbeing at BDO? What do we do as a business to make the biggest positive impact?
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