As one of Australia’s leading firms, PwC recognises that to be successful they need diverse talent, which is why they have diversity and inclusion at the centre of their strategy. In recent years they have put in place a range of policies and support structures to help employees with disability reach their full potential. In 2014 they formed the Ability Network, an internal network for employees with disability and their carers to go for advice, information and support.
And while he acknowledges that increasing opportunities within PwC for people with disability is the right thing to do from a moral standpoint, PwC CEO Luke Sayers is very quick to point out that the driving factor behind the strategy is that it just makes good business sense. “People with disability have tonnes of abilities; we just provide the support mechanisms to make sure we play to those strengths. Because when they flourish, we flourish” Luke says.
“We are absolutely convinced that the more diverse our culture and people, the more creativity, the more innovation and the more market impact that we will have for PwC.”
Recent hire Jeremy Kwok is a shining example of PwC’s commitment to hiring people with disability. After spending a summer working in the Corporate and Tax Department as part of the ‘vacationer’ program, Jeremy was one of a handful of graduates to be offered a full time role. He started as a tax consultant in March 2017, the same week that PwC moved into their state-of-the-art new offices in Sydney’s Barangaroo development - not a bad place to begin your career. A graduate of University of NSW, Jeremy has a double degree in Law and Commerce, and as if that’s not enough he plays four instruments with aplomb.
Nicole Vongdara – Diversity and Inclusion Disability Strategy Lead at PwC says it’s about finding the best people for the job. “People with disability are an untapped talent pool. They have amazing skills and capabilities and can bring something new to the table. We’re seeing it as good business sense.”
PwC is a highly competitive environment, and Jeremy will be expected to perform just like any other employee, but that’s exactly what he wants. “People with disability want to have jobs, study, to live life as normally as we can. I’m just as human as you are; I have dreams, aspirations, as everyone else does.” For Jeremy, the study and hard work is starting to pay off, and now that he’s earned the opportunity to work at one of Australia’s leading companies the sky is the limit.
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"We don't see disability, we see capability."Luke Sayers, CEO, PwC