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Leadership Theories of Diversity: A Case Study of PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC)


Definition of terms

I&D- Inclusion and diversity

PwC- PricewaterhouseCoopers

Background of study

Leadership is an essential part of project management. Depending on the effectiveness of the leadership approach, the organization can significantly utilize its resources to maximize efficiency and achieve its goals (Shaturaev & Bekimbetova, 2021). This study will critically analyze leadership and management theories of diversity regarding PwC.

PwC is the brand name used by PricewaterhouseCoopers International Limited (PwCIL). It comprises member businesses that provide professional services. These firms constitute the PwC network. The network’s firms are committed to collaborating to offer high-quality services, including high-quality assurance, tax, and advisory services to their clients worldwide. The Network Leadership Team and Board of PwCIL focus on essential areas like strategy, brand, risk, and quality, developing and implementing policies and initiatives to establish a joint and coordinated approach among individual firms where appropriate (Campbell et al., 2023). PwC’s professional network comprises offices in 151 countries and over 364,000 individuals (PwC, 2024).

This paper critically analyses leadership and management strategies implemented regarding diversity and the global workforce regarding PwC. First, the report delves into how various leaders in PwC have implemented diversity in communication, decision-making, conflict resolution, and overall leadership style in a context where employees come from different cultural backgrounds—and the inclusion initiatives they have implemented to promote a culturally inclusive workplace. Secondly, the leadership approach used while dealing with overseas employees involves understanding the challenges and opportunities of managing a global workforce. Lastly, the research paper will focus on ethical measures and considerations PwC takes while dealing with overseas employees. In conclusion, an organization comprises people from different backgrounds, races, or demographics. Therefore, Leaders in a given organization must understand how to manage a diverse workforce to maximize efficiency and business goals.


According to the chairman of PwC, Bob Moritz, inclusiveness and multiculturalism are key priorities for the company worldwide. With this in mind, the PwC stakeholders appointed several leaders to form the Global Leadership Team (G.L.T.) to handle diversity. This chapter will focus on the Global Leadership Team’s strategies for inclusion and diversity.

Inclusion Initiatives

The global leadership team developed their inclusion and diversity (I&D) first strategy for the company, people, and clients. The main aim of this strategy is to prioritize all the people involved. The Global leadership team catalyses inclusion and diversity change in each PwC member firm for the clients and the larger PwC network. The global I&D strategy is centred on Action, Accountability, and advocacy. Action is to ensure that the company has a culture of change; accountability is to ensure all the leaders, employees, and all the members of the firm accept the change. Advocacy ensures that PwC members act as a voice for change within and beyond PwC.

Inclusion First Strategy

Inclusion’s first strategy aims to ensure that the diverse workforce feels they belong and are recognized by the employer. By coming up with inclusive systems and embedding diversity in the company’s policies, the strategy acts as a drive for change. It is an essential component when the organization implements the New Equation Strategy, which is focused on establishing trust in various areas important to stakeholders and generating long-term results in an environment where the risk of disruption is greater than ever. It is also a key component of the leadership development strategy and People Value Proposition (PwC, 2024).

Inclusive leadership brings out the best performances in teamwork. As the initial stage of inclusive leadership development, the company created the Revolutionary Inclusive Mindset Badge. The employees attend a learning program for an inclusive mindset learning experience, which improves their ability to listen to those around them, learn from others’ experiences, and effect change through their daily activities (PwC, 2024). After they have completed the experience, they are rewarded with the Revolutionary Inclusive Mindset Badge,

Gender Equity

In many organizations, gender inequity is very visible as there are more male than female employees. Gender equity is visible at PwC, as they have increased the representation of women in leadership positions and taken the necessary steps to ensure the company has an inclusive talent structure. These two strategies have ensured the company has many female talents across the network. In 2005, the leadership team established the gender advisory council. In 2016, the chairman, Bob Moritz, appointed the most diverse global leadership team till today. He selected eight females on the leadership board, 44% of everyone (PwC, 2024). The actions taken for gender equity include leadership commitment, leadership representation, attraction and advancement, and a data-driven approach. From the PwC global annual review, 2022, 23% of the partners globally and 49% of the global workforce are women. Therefore, PwC is a gender-inclusive company and is still working on getting to a 50% ratio of women employees.

Disability Inclusion

The main aim of this strategy is to foster an environment where people with disabilities are included, empowered to be themselves and have access to the necessary resources needed to thrive. In 2020, PwC’s Global Chairman, Bob Moritz, and several Territory Senior Partners (T.S.P.s) became signatories of the Valuable 500, a global movement putting disability on the business leadership agenda. As part of this, PwC committed to appointing a Global Disability Leader to drive accelerated and lasting change across the network. In September 2021, Leandro Camilo, a Partner and the Inclusion and diversity Leader at PwC Brazil, was appointed (PWC, 2024).

The disability inclusion strategy has six areas of focus: talent and representation, leadership commitment, culture awareness, adjustment and support, self-identification, and accessibility.

LGBTQ+ inclusion

This strategy aims to foster an inclusive environment where LGBTQ + talents feel safe participating fully in work. To foster the environment, the company is working to grow LGBTQ+ equality and accelerate the change in the wider world. As a company, PwC respects the laws of every country where it operates but does not support any kind of discrimination, including gender identity, sexual orientation, or expression.

PwC has an inclusion network for the LGBTQ+ community, referred to as Shine. Shine highlights numerous ways that LGBT+ colleagues contribute to the strength of their workplace culture. Shine’s main objectives include educating and raising awareness, attracting LGBTQ+ talent, growing the business, and making a difference in the community.

Social Inclusion

The company promotes social inclusion through networking platforms and partnering with recognized institutions to scale the impact to address societal structures and inequalities while creating opportunities for those facing systematic disadvantages. Some PwC partners include the World Economic Forum – Global Parity Alliance, World Economic Forum – Coalition for Racial Justice in Business, U.N. Women HeForShe Alliance Partnership and Global LGBTI+ Equality. The focus areas are developing programs and partnering for advocacy and support (PwC, 2024).


The future of business is remote working. With the new technologically advanced innovations that are coming up, working from afar will be part of any business experience. With PwC’s professional network comprising offices in 151 countries and over 364,000 individuals (PWC, 2024), most of PwC’s employees are overseas workers. When recruiting overseas workers, there are some advantageous opportunities. This includes access to a global pool of talents, increased diversity, cost-effectiveness, and international presence.

Team-oriented Leadership

The team-oriented leadership approach is among many that business managers at PwC use when dealing with overseas employees. This approach involves having a team leader whose main objective is achieving a common purpose and goal regardless of the diverse workforce (Ali, 2017). With this in mind, team leaders and managers must devise ways to include overseas employees.


As a manager handling overseas employees, communication is a must. Global teams mostly consist of overseas employees who work remotely in their country and are in different time zones. As a manager, one must check on their employees regularly. This is done by holding regular meetings with them at a specified time whenever the employee is available. Also, the employees are advised to check regularly with their given team leader or manager to ensure they are engaged. The managers should organize their meeting schedules in advance to make different time zones a non-issue. The schedule should be at a time that works for every employee, and understand that the responses might not be immediate at certain times.

Video-conferencing is another method of communication that PwC managers use. With video conferencing, the whole team, including the manager, can have real-time conversations and share the necessary information for project management. In addition, PwC has set up travel schedules that take place twice or more a year to visit the international offices (Steers, 2023). According to (Steers, 2023), from existing statistics, face-to-face interactions are more effective than emails in building trust and getting things done. Hence, creating an inclusive meeting schedule can overcome the challenges of distance and time, creating a better working relationship with overseas employees.

Cultivate empathy

Emotional intelligence is one of the main skills nurtured in managers at the PwC. With emotional intelligence, a manager can handle stress, coach teams, offer feedback, and collaborate. As a manager handling overseas employees, one must foster empathy among the team. A study by (Worley, 2023) shows that 76% of CEOS agree that empathy is important for greater retention, motivation, and productivity in a workplace. Allowing time for informal chatting before the business meeting starts is a good start. Small talk is a great tool for building trust and can bring the team closer (Worley, 2023). Small talk allows the team members to know each other more deeply, conquering the obstacle of being geographically separated.

Be aware of cultural differences.

The diversity between team members’ habits and values might need to be clarified. That is why it is important for leaders and managers handling a diverse workforce to know the diverse practices. Different cultural environments require different management strategies to maximize the potential of each employee. When a manager does not consider these differences, the employees feel ignored and neglected. Depending on the social norms of the employee’s culture, some might never contribute their ideas and opinions during the team meetings. To solve this problem, PwC encourages I&D dialogues about cultural differences and how they can motivate employees instead of demotivating them. Understanding the different cultures also includes respecting the different holidays so everyone can feel seen. Embracing these differences can lead to easier conflict resolution, better conversations, and maximize the teams’ potential.


Various technologies and tools are used to collaborate with global teams effectively. As time goes on, more teams are becoming fully remote workers. PwC uses collaboration tools, such as TeamViewer, Zoom, and Microsoft Teams, which can be used to further communication. In addition, these tools can also be used in the delegation of work, project management, and messaging so that the global team can work effectively despite their geographical location.

Balance participation

One key challenge managers face when handling overseas teams is encouraging participation and promoting discussion among employees. In PwC, the common language for all employees involved is English. In some countries where the company is situated, like China, this can have a major drawback due to different levels of language proficiency. Employees not used to using English might feel less inclined to speak during team meetings since the familiar ones dominates the conversation.

With this in mind, the global PwC managers are aware of the imbalance and always intervene when necessary. As a manager, one should understand that when dealing with native speakers, one must be patient as they might be slow when addressing the other colleagues. Hence, the managers should create an environment where all employees feel empowered.


PwC is known for promoting diversity and inclusiveness. As the global needs are expanding, the pool of employees is also expanding. Global talent is always needed to offer essential solutions that are diverse. With this in mind, it is the companies’ responsibility to develop ethical measures protecting overseas employees.

Rewards and benefits for Employees

The PwC’s benefit and reward package focuses on five key areas: Financial, Health and well-being, lifestyle, and protection against the unexpected. As soon as an employee joins PwC, they have access to subsidies and some free benefits year-round. In addition to that, PwC funds a variety of essential benefits, which can be extended and enhanced to include dependents. During an employee’s career at PwC, they can choose optional perks through salary exchange (PwC, 2024)


Some of the financial benefits that PwC offers overseas employees include impartial advice from a mortgage broker, season ticket loans, guidance in renting, funded backup care for older adults and children, and pensions with matched funds from the company.


The lifestyle benefits include discounted dining, gym and fitness, empowered flexibility, Enhanced paternity policies, Travel and gadget insurance, holiday trading, cycle to work scheme, and car scheme.

Protection against the unexpected

The benefits include Will writing service, life insurance, personal accident cover, critical illness, personal injury, partner life insurance, and protection income due to a long-term illness.

Health and Well-being

At PwC, the health and well-being of all employees, including overseas employees, is key. The benefits include Eye tests, an office-flue vaccine program, an employee assistance program for short-term counselling and guidance, private medical cover, dental insurance, and free guidance to working parents. Regarding Working parents, PwC offers a 22-week full pay for maternity and adoption of eligible employees. For paternity, a four-week leave at full pay includes statutory paternity pay. All new parents have access to the 22-week paid leave, a shared parental leave, and a parental leave, which is unpaid but allows an employee to take up to 18 weeks of leave per child. Finally, in cases of baby loss and miscarriages, PwC offers a 10-day leave.

Social Security

When a company has global employees, moving between countries is inevitable. PwC handles the social security obligations of all its employees. The wide range of social security experts at PwC keeps close links with the government authorities of each country in which the company is invested. This helps ensure that all employees’ social security obligations are current.

Labor laws

Reliable, effective, and efficient management relations with employees, leaders, and unions are key to safeguarding business continuity and value. PwC has a group of labour lawyers with experience in business relations. The lawyers help businesses in relations with clients, unions, employees, the government, and the tax, welfare, and pension in all phases. This includes handling International labour laws for global employees. Local employment laws and regulations apply to overseas workers, including overtime, working hours, and termination and leave benefits. With the help of lawyers, all global employees are advised on applicable governing laws and make sure that they are met in the employment contract to avoid future problems for the employees.

The Deal

PwC has an ethical approach for all overseas employees known as ‘the deal.’ The Deal is PwC’s firmwide employee value proposition. This helps an employee see what their career in PwC looks like and what their contribution to the company is personally and professionally. The way work is handled keeps changing as the years pass. The Deal is built on two things: trust and flexibility. The employees are free to work in a way that works for them but meets the required goals. The core of the deal framework is empowered flexibility. It reflects on the new work strategies introduced in the new world of work to help overseas workers. This included introducing empowered working days. Employees can choose their most efficient work schedules, including the time they can work effectively on any day. Secondly, the Introduction of summer working hours allows employees to condense their schedules and finish at lunchtime of the last working day, depending on their allocation. This, however, is reviewed every year depending on the business performance of the previous year. Lastly, PwC launched flexible public holidays. All employees are allowed two public holidays for personal reasons. However, the request for a public holiday must meet the business needs and be approved locally.


ColorBrave is an inclusion strategy that PwC put in place to ensure that all employees who are people of colour globally are valued and respected. This is one of the actions taken by PwC to ensure racial equality. Any employee who experiences racism in any way is required to report to the ColorBrave offices. Since most overseas employees are people of colour, this strategy ensures they are well represented.


Annual Leadership workshop

PwC should develop an annual leadership workshop where managers from different regions can meet and discuss diversity matters. This will help empower more leaders within the company on how to be inclusive in their given area. Leaders from different countries can educate the rest on their culture and how it generally affects business. After socializing, the leaders should be able to develop new inclusive strategies for the coming year and how they can be implemented. Finally, they can also develop more strategies to protect the global workforce as an entity of the company. If every employee feels seen, they will be willing to work to the best of their potential, giving the business a competitive edge.


In conclusion, PwC is an organization comprising workers from diverse parts of the world. Employees can be diverse regarding race, gender, sexual orientation, and demography. A diverse leader should be able to collectively work with diverse teams and individuals to achieve the company’s goal effectively. Hence, diverse leadership is very important in the company, as three-quarters of its employees are from different continents and countries. PwC has a global pool of professionals; hence, the working environment must be inclusive to maximize their potential. Also, according to the study, technological advancements have made it easier to handle overseas workers. For example, the managers use virtual task managers to assign projects, review projects, and check if the workload is balanced between the employees. We learn that diversity maximizes the business potential by creating inclusive strategies that make sure people from diverse beliefs and characteristics feel seen and valued in the company. Inclusivity starts with the company and leaders understanding the words, behaviour, and prejudice of people from diverse cultures. Other employees too ought to self-educate themselves as well.


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