Impact statement


RSM wouldn’t be what it is without its talented, dedicated and hardworking team. We describe ourselves as a people business for good reason. Our people are the reason we are gaining recognition as the leading provider of professional services to the middle market globally. Their broad expertise, which spans all areas of our audit, tax and consulting service lines, helps clients all over the world find solutions to even the trickiest problems. As such, it’s our priority to protect, reward and develop our team, so they feel supported and empowered to build a long and fulfilling career at RSM.

Two of our core values are respect and teamwork. Both are vital to the success of RSM as an organisation and of each individual team member. We foster a culture of treating others as we’d like to be treated, displaying respect in each interaction with clients, team members and partners. We cultivate genuine collaboration by working together effectively across all functions and levels. 

We’ve created competitive reward packages, clearly defined development programmes and two-way communication channels that encourage people to share their experiences – especially when there’s room for improvement. We’re part of a large, multinational network but small enough that every member of our teams has a chance to make a real impact in their field.

We aim to ensure all of our people are recognised and rewarded for their unique contributions to our firm – no matter how humble.

  • Growing our own
  • Diversity and inclusion
  • Health and wellbeing
  • Modern slavery

Growing our own


Developing internal talent and giving our people plenty of development opportunities is a core element of our people strategy. We call this ‘Grow Our Own’ – and it’s paying off. At a senior level, 16 employees were promoted to partner and 42 to directors in the year to April 2022. In total 514 employees were promoted over the 12-month period, approximately a tenth of our workforce.

We are also proud to have recently won the 2023 AAT Social Impact Award, which is described as a commendation ‘for an organisation that has helped drive social mobility’. We were recognised in this category for facilitating access to the accountancy profession. 

To make it easier for our people to set their career aspirations in motion, and spot internal opportunities to move into new positions, we are introducing new systems. We will be implementing an enhanced HR system that will help employees track goals and performance and bring their chosen career paths to life. Meanwhile, our talent platform allows us to engage with external candidates, as well as share internal vacancies in a more user-friendly way and enable our people to find mentors in their area of the business. 

Our people spent over 196k hours on internal technical and non-technical training courses in 2022, covering diverse topics, such as: 

  • compliance and regulation;
  • data analytics;
  • personal development;
  • health and safety;
  • diversity and inclusion;
  • IT; 
  • Wellbeing; and
  • technical topics across all of Audit, Tax and Consulting.

And despite pandemic-related disruption, we kept trainee recruitment consistent across the most turbulent pandemic years. In addition, our student intake increased by 20% year-on-year to 723 students – made up of 507 graduates, 116 school leavers and 100 individuals on placements. 

The Department for Education ranked our UK early careers programme eighth in the top 100 Apprenticeship employers in the UK – making us the highest-ranked professional services firm. We also won the Southeast Apprenticeship Employer of the Year Award and were highly commended for our inclusive and diverse recruitment strategies. 

A further measure we recognise is our apprentices’ success in their ACA exam results, which are consistently higher than national averages. This is an excellent indicator of the level that our people apply themselves to their work and a positive reflection on the support they are provided by RSM. 

Case study – Digital skills and Innovation 

At RSM, we’re actively developing our people’s digital and data literacy. In 2022, every employee received a minimum of six hours of training on the core concepts of data analytics. There is more to follow in 2023, alongside regular topic-based workshops to help people take their digital skills to the next level. We’re also rolling out tailored training for specific groups. This includes sessions on ‘Using Data for Decision Making’ for managers, directors, partners, as well as external Masters-level qualifications for RSM’s ‘data champions’.

We run regular half-day ‘Hackathons’ to develop analytical skills in a fun and collaborative way. Everyone is split into small teams and asked to solve a problem using designated analytical tools. Our people learn from each other and competing teams, giving them a better understanding of how to use the tools and explore data in innovative ways.

Finally, our team challenge ‘Forward Sprint’ helped our people think creatively. Teams made up of individuals from across the firm pooled their knowledge and perspectives to come up with innovative solutions to real-world business challenges at RSM. After the sprint session, participants became ambassadors of innovation in their service line. 

George Allen, Audit Supervisor in Bury St Edmunds, took part in a Forward Sprint session and is now an innovation ambassador. 

George Allen
George Allen
Audit Supervisor

Being involved in the Forward Sprint challenge meant getting to work with people from across our offices and service lines. We received excellent training on ideation – ways of generating, developing and communicating new ideas. It was brilliant to see the other team's solutions; we got to see things from the wide scope of perspectives at RSM and learned from their successes. 

Diversity and inclusion


Diversity and ensuring an inclusive environment for all of our people is of the utmost importance to us at RSM. It’s a key area of focus for our leadership team and something we monitor regularly through reporting and feedback from our people. The efforts our business has put into developing this is rooted in our belief that each employee, regardless of identity, culture or background, should feel a sense of belonging at our firm and that they can bring their true self to work. 

Alongside nurturing an inclusive employee experience and sustaining our commitment to achieve a representative gender balance across the firm, our work over the past year has focused on increasing our ethnic and faith diversity, LGBTQ+ inclusion, disability and neurodiversity inclusion and taking action to promote social mobility. This will enable talented individuals to thrive, irrespective of any identity or socio-economic background. Steps include:

  • refreshing our trainee recruitment process, testing for inclusivity;
  • committing to the 10,000 Black Interns programme;
  • moving to self-nomination and self-registration for many of our development programmes;
  • being a member of industry forum Neurodiversity in Business;
  • promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment in the workplace as a Signatory of the Women Empowerment Principles;
  • establishing a career focussed culture, driven by regular and timely check ins, delivered through development conversations that are scheduled throughout the year;
  • strengthening our pipeline of diverse talent to fill senior roles;
  • supporting the Royal National Children’s Springboard Foundation with mentoring initiatives; and
  • committing to school outreach programmes through ICAEW’s Rise initiative and the Duke of Edinburgh Award.

Hannah Catchpool
Hannah Catchpool
Partner, Head of Not for profit and National Head of Inclusion
We’re taking the steps to become a truly inclusive firm, where our working environments reflect our diverse talent, the clients we work with and the communities we work in. We’ve recognised that we make better business decisions as a diverse organisation and do better business overall. True diversity and inclusion aren’t about a few people doing a few good things. This is about everybody playing a part.

Overall firm ethnicity

We track the ethnic makeup of RSM to better monitor our progress on making our firm more diverse. We want to see where we can improve and increase the proportion of our people that come from diverse backgrounds. We also voluntarily publish our ethnicity pay gaps along with the gender pay gap – both of which we’re actively working to close. You can read about our pay gap reporting in detail, and the work we’re doing to address this, in our Pay Gap Report 2022

Financial year Asian or Asian British Black or Black British Mixed Chinese or other ethnic group Not disclosed White
2018 6.5% 1.5% 0.7% 1.6% 9.1% 80.6%
2019 7.0% 1.6% 0.9% 1.5% 8.3% 80.7%
2020 7.2% 1.9% 0.8% 1.6% 11.0% 77.4%
2021 7.9% 2.0% 0.8% 1.7% 11.0% 76.6%
2022 10.2% 2.1% 2% 1.1% 13.2% 71.5%

We capture data on the ethnicity of our new starters so we can track how well we’re increasing diversity through talent acquisition, as part of our Grow Your Own initiative. We want our business to better represent the communities we work in, and make sure that people from diverse, underrepresented backgrounds are given the same opportunities for a career in professional services as everyone else.

Between 2017 and 2021, the percentage of new joiners from white backgrounds decreased from 79.7% to 52.3%. While the number of new joiners who chose not to disclose their ethnicity increased significantly from 5.1% to 20.9%, making it more difficult for us to see an accurate picture of our workforce. Nonetheless, the diversity of our new joiners has improved. Those from Asian or Asian-British backgrounds now make up 16.6% of our new joiners (from 9.7%), while Black or Black British new starters account for 4.5% (from 2.1%). New starters from Chinese or other ethnic group backgrounds, or mixed backgrounds, make up 2.1% and 3.5% of our new joiners respectively, up from 0.5% and 2.9%. 

Financial year Asian or Asian British Black or Black British Mixed Chinese or other ethnic group Not disclosed White
2018 9.7% 2.1% 0.5% 2.9% 5.1% 79.7%
2019 12.9% 2.7% 0.9% 2.1% 2.2% 79.2%
2020 14.5% 4.4% 1.3% 1.8% 5.5% 72.6%
2021 13.1% 4.9% 1.4% 3.4% 25.4% 51.8%
2022 16.6% 4.5% 2.1% 3.5% 20.9% 52.3%

Awards, Accreditations and Partnerships

We use the expertise and tools of a number of external partners to benchmark our progress and success. We’ve picked up a number of accolades and proudly hold memberships including: 

  • Top 100 Employer and Gold Employer Award in Stonewall’s 2022 Workplace Equality Index – We were awarded for actively ’building and supporting a culture that encourages our LGBTQ+ people to be their authentic selves at work.
  • Disability Confident Employer – We’re a level two-accredited Disability Confident employer. This government scheme helps employers attract, recruit and hold on to talented disabled staff.
  • Signatory of the Valuable 500 – We were an initial signatory of this global business collective, made up of 500 CEOs and their companies. We’re working together to find new solutions focussed on disability inclusion.
  • Neurodiversity in Business membership – We’re part of this industry forum which helps us better support our neurodivergent people at work. Through our EnABLE network we have raised awareness and are building a firm-wide environment where people feel comfortable discussing disability and neurodiversity.
  • Signatory of the Women Empowerment Principles – We co-signed this set of seven Women’s Empowerment Principles, which are closely connected to our own gender equality goals. We’re promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment in the workplace, which demonstrates our active commitment to driving change.
  • Leadership Through Sport and Business – We’ve worked in partnership with LTSB since 2014 to offer school leavers from underprivileged areas apprenticeship programmes. We welcome between six and 10 young people every year and support them as they study for professional qualifications.
  • Access Accountancy – We’re part of a group of firms that offer 750 work placements to students from low socio-economic backgrounds every year. Working with Access Accountancy, we give young people the opportunity to learn more about a career in accountancy, get work experience and build skills that boost their employability.

Case study – Culture of allyship 

At RSM, we’re proud to foster a culture of allyship. We always want to do the right thing by, and for, our colleagues, at every opportunity. Our  ‘Listen. Educate. Act.’ Diversity and inclusion strategy helps our people be the best possible allies by giving them a better understanding of different people’s life experiences and encouraging them to make lasting, positive changes.

In September 2021, we launched our ‘culture of allyship’ initiative. It was developed by a group of Partners and employees who are passionate about helping everyone be an ally – not just to people in their team, but across the whole firm. Their goal is to develop and implement ideas that will help us all become better allies, both in and out of work.

The group have:

  • created an allyship hub, where our people can find resources that educate and start open conversations;  

  • organised lunchtime learning sessions in each of our regions to explain that embracing inclusion is everyone’s responsibility, the importance of intersectionality, and how to be an effective workplace ally. Their aim was to show that allyship is an ongoing journey, both for employees and RSM as a firm. The session’s structure was the same for all, but we tailored conversations to each region, with regional panellists to support the nuanced discussion; and

  • made sure RSM’s most vocal and active allies are rewarded through our firm-wide recognition scheme.

We’ve also organised additional activities that support our wider ‘Listen. Educate. Act.’ strategy.

  • National broadcasts that share diverse perspectives – These sessions have covered broad topics including ‘Role Models, my diverse journey’, which highlighted individuals that people from diverse backgrounds could relate to and potentially feel inspired by, ‘Overcoming adversity with Charlie Martin’ and ‘Endometriosis awareness and support’.

  • Educational articles – Topics have included, ‘Ramadan: RSM colleagues share their experiences of fasting’, ‘World Down’s Syndrome Day’ and ‘Disability: Inclusive Language’. 

  • Online learning modules – We held online unconscious bias and disability inclusion training for both staff and managers.

At RSM, we have well-established D&I employee network groups, and each provides safe spaces for support and allyship. The networks create invaluable learning opportunities by running events to raise awareness for issues such as equity and disability inclusion and to celebrate key dates such as Pride, South Asian Heritage and Black History Month.

This year we also launched our first national reverse mentoring programme, which involved matching board members and the National Head of Inclusion with a diverse range of colleagues across the business to create mentoring partnerships. Our reverse mentors have had an opportunity to share their different perspectives and life experiences and our mentees have gained valuable insights.

Sandra Myer Edwards
Sandra Myers Edwards
Senior Manager - National Diversity & Inclusion

Allyship is key to making RSM’s culture truly inclusive. It’s a crucial part of making everyone feel like they belong and have a voice that’s genuinely being heard. We want everyone to feel like they can flourish here, as it’s our people that make us as strong and successful as we are.

Health and wellbeing


Our people are our greatest strength, so it’s vital that we invest in them. We’re proud of our working environment and the things we’ve put in place to enable our people to ‘work well’ – something we’re constantly looking to further improve and evolve. Our wellbeing strategy is focused on ensuring we are proactive in our approach to wellbeing, looking at every aspect of wellness and helping our people look after their physical, psychological, social and financial health. Some of the ways we’ve done this include:

  • training a firm-wide team of 200+ wellbeing ambassadors, with at least one based in every office; 
  • launching our #TalkMoney week campaign, highlighting our budgeting and planning tools, providing access to help and advice and hosting a Q&A webinar
  • signing up to the ‘Better Workplace’ mental health pledge; and
  • further expanding our extensive range of employee medical and healthcare benefits to include enhanced support for matters relating to the menopause, prostate, gynaecology, and sexual health. 

Our dedicated national wellbeing team review how effective our wellbeing initiatives are throughout the year, before developing and promoting those initiatives that have the most impact. Here are some key numbers that illustrate our commitment and progress in this area:

  • 10,300 recognition moments on our recognition platform from August 21 – August 22;
  • £153,790 of savings on retail purchases by employees using our discount scheme from August 21 – August 22;
  • over 500 visitors to the virtual wellbeing centre within the first two months of launch, which offers support on everything from financial worries to mental health;
  • 70% increase in uptake from eligible employees of RSM’s private healthcare scheme from 2019 – 2022, as it became more accessible for all employees; and
  • giving 100% of RSM employees access to a virtual GP service for themselves and their dependants. 

Our annual programme of wellbeing events included ‘JanYOUary’, which encouraged people to take time out to improve physical and mental health in different ways every day. It was also a brilliant way to connect, both digitally and in person, making everyone feel engaged and increasing their sense of belonging at RSM. 

We know some of our people are finding it especially difficult right now considering the ongoing cost-of-living crisis. So, we have increased the available financial education resources to help our team members make their money go further. As well as hosting events like our successful webinars, we’ve been actively promoting better awareness of financially focussed employee benefits like a free 30-minute, one-to-one financial consultation and a digital financial wellbeing tool, which helps our people create a personalised financial plan. We raised awareness through aligning an internal campaign with the national campaign ‘Talk Money Week’ initiative and intranet articles, alongside the launch of the virtual wellbeing centre previously mentioned.

To understand how effective our support is, we frequently analyse statistical data from our employee assistance programme. When we see our people’s needs are changing, we tailor and adjust our support accordingly. We also use data to understand if individual support measures, such as counselling, are helpful. It’s been encouraging to see notable changes in clinical anxiety and depression assessment scores after counselling intervention. 

As a national firm, we’re proud to have established a network of local volunteers across our offices. They’re comprehensively trained and help keep our people safe and supported in different ways.

We’ve helped train:

Case study – Burnout

In 2019, ‘burnout’ was recognised by the World Health Organisation as an ‘occupational phenomenon’ – and a growing one, too. Coupled with the impact of the pandemic on health worries, we recognised that we needed to put more measures in place to help protect our people from reaching burnout. Even as a ranked ’Outstanding Employer’ by Best Companies and with a two-star rating from Best Companies based on our 2021 employee engagement survey, there was room for us to do more.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, and during our adjustment to agile working for the long term, we’ve regularly asked our people for their opinion on matters, such as their work/life balance and our flexible working arrangements. Their feedback highlighted important areas for improvement, like employee wellbeing for those at the start of their careers with us.

We offer our early-careers employees support by proactively encouraging them to create healthy habits, physically, psychologically and financially from the very start of their careers. We have put in place additional targeted measures to help our trainees get their careers off to a brilliant start without compromising their wellbeing. These include removing probationary periods for new roles, reducing worrying uncertainty and giving new starters a better sense of financial security.

In addition, we created two bespoke training sessions for our students, designed to help them build vital wellbeing skills early and understand how to deal with future challenges the right way. 

  • Managing Your Wellbeing at RSM – This session helped our people gain an understanding of strategies that can help them look after their mental wellbeing and build a healthy mindset that is ready to deal with challenges.
  • Resilience – This session focussed on resilience, as in how well people can recover from or stay well in the face of adversity. Our people gained a better understanding of resilience and explored ways to build theirs.

Modern slavery

We take a zero-tolerance approach towards modern slavery. Key policies and procedures are in place and subject to ongoing review to protect our employees and those we work with.  

We have published a statement on our website in accordance with the Modern Slavery Act explaining the steps we are taking to ensure slavery and human trafficking is not taking place in any part of our own business or our supply chains

We have implemented a new Supplier Code of Conduct approved by the National Leadership Team. This Supplier Code sets out our expectations of our suppliers in several areas including modern slavery.

In summary, its key requirements in relation to modern slavery are that our suppliers:

  • engage their staff on written terms which comply with law, explicitly state their working hours and compensation and contain a right for them to terminate; 
  • pay all remuneration owed to their staff without delay and in accordance with law; 
  • take a robust and proactive approach to recruitment, and to only use reputable recruitment agencies; 
  • provide training to their staff on modern slavery issues;
  • have policies to encourage their staff to raise concerns without fear of reprisal; and 
  • have policies to make sure that the suppliers they use are reputable and engage in ethical business practices. 

We have now engaged on the Supplier Code with a number of our top suppliers (who between them account for around half of our total spend on suppliers across the RSM UK group). We have asked them to either acknowledge our Supplier Code or provide alternative assurance that they comply with it. Following this process, we will review the implementation of our Supplier Code to ensure it is meeting our requirements, and then consider expanding the scope to cover a wider range of our key suppliers.

Impact statement

At RSM our strong values are what drive us to make a real, lasting impact.