Making meaningful progress

We want to make long-term change, and that requires a holistic approach. Rather than looking for short-lived gains, we seek to understand the root causes of our pay gaps and put in place sustainable solutions. We know that this kind of meaningful progress is challenging and will take time. But by continuing this focus, we are confident that we will achieve real, lasting results.

The pay gap explained

The pay gap is different to equal pay.

A gender and ethnicity pay gap is a measure of the difference between the average pay rates for men and women, and for ethnic minority and non-ethnic minority employees.

2022 pay gap results in summary

This year, our figures show:

– we have continued our progress to close our mean and median gender pay gaps;
– our gender bonus gaps have widened from 2021 – this continues to fluctuate from year to year; and
– there was an increase in our ethnicity pay and bonus gaps.

We are pleased to see continued progress in our gender pay gap results for 2022, but it's clear that overall, there is more work to do. The picture we are building year on year gives us increasing insight into where our attention needs to be focused.

We recognise that progress isn’t linear, and fluctuations in the makeup of our workforce and our application of our reward structures are to be expected. We will continue to report transparently, always working to improve the depth of data we capture and the tools and skills we use to analyse it.

We are already working to overcome challenges we face, such as the significant proportion of our people who choose not to declare their ethnicity. Incomplete data makes it difficult for us to build a truly accurate picture of our workforce, to understand the factors impacting our pay gaps, to take targeted action to address these gaps, and to monitor the effectiveness of our internal strategies and initiatives. 

Statutory and voluntary pay gap reporting are useful tools that encourage scrutiny of, and action on, gender and ethnicity-related pay and bonus differences. While it may take time to see the impact of the steps we are taking now, we are confident that the foundations we are laying are moving us in the right direction.

Our ‘Grow Our Own’ strategy, for example, provides development support and opportunities to help individuals from all ethnicities and gender identities progress their careers within RSM – with ambition as their only limit. This strategy has led to our continued commitment to greater student recruitment, which is bringing in a larger, more diverse pool of talent with every year. We have also continued to foster a culture of agile, flexible working. Over time, we’re confident this will translate into greater diversity at senior levels and subsequently reduce our pay gaps.

We will continue to monitor and report on our pay gaps to ensure that, overall, we are on a positive trajectory. Monitoring our progress towards improving pay gaps is an important step in addressing them.


Explore our pay gap results in detail

Gender pay gap

Our 2022 figures show an improvement in our gender pay gap, giving us confidence that our diversity and inclusion (D&I) strategy is helping us progress steadily.

Lower representation of women in leadership roles, where remuneration is higher, contributes to our gender pay and bonus gaps. There is also a higher proportion of women in part-time roles in more senior positions, which also has an impact. To address our gender pay gaps, we continue to ensure our job adverts and recruitment and selection processes are gender neutral, and that through our ‘Grow Our Own’ strategy there are routes for our talented women to reach senior roles at RSM.

Despite marked progress on our gender pay gap, we have seen an increase in both the mean and median gender bonus gaps since last year. However, it is important to recognise the impact on our 2021 bonus gaps of the one-off flat rate ‘thank you’ bonuses, paid to the vast majority of our people, to acknowledge their extraordinary efforts during the height of the pandemic. When we remove the effect of the 2021 ‘thank you’ bonus and compare data on a like-for-like basis, we see a reduction in the gender bonus gap from 32.3% to 26.8%. It should also be noted that the difference between the proportion of men and women receiving a bonus remains a small one.

Proportion of men and women in each quartile pay band

A contributing factor to our gender pay and bonus gap is the higher proportion of women than men who work part-time at RSM – something that is more prevalent at manager levels. 


Ethnicity pay gap

This is our third year of voluntarily reporting our ethnicity pay and bonus gaps. Over the last few years, we have had a focus on increasing the diversity of our trainee intake and creating opportunities within our profession, regardless of background. We are delighted that in 2022 37% of our annual trainee intake reported being from an ethnic minority background. Increasing diversity at more senior levels is, however, taking longer. This is due to a number of factors, including less vacancies at experienced levels when compared to our trainee intake, and a relative lack of diversity amongst experienced candidates within our profession as a whole.  

Ethnicity recruitment intake figures

The progress we have made is not reflected in our 2022 ethnicity pay and bonus gap. By their nature, trainee roles receive lower pay and, therefore, smaller bonuses. In the same year the ethnic diversity of our senior roles declined, contributing to the widening of the ethnicity bonus gap. As our trainees progress with experience and qualification and take up management and other senior roles over time, we expect to see both our ethnicity pay and bonus gaps reduce.

As well as performance and role-related awards, we give bonuses to our people to help them celebrate important life events, such as their wedding or civil partnership. Furthermore, we offer additional rewards to those who have done something notable, such as people who complete first aider training and exam prize winners. It is a requirement that these additional awards are factored into statutory calculations. Though employees from every background are eligible for these awards, the vast majority of recipients in the 12 months to April 2022 happened to be from white backgrounds – further skewing our results in this report.

In the year ahead we are continuing to focus on ensuring our people of all backgrounds have the developmental support they need to progress their careers and reach senior roles. We are also seeking to gain a fuller and more representative picture of our workforce by encouraging the 11.2% of our people who haven’t disclosed their ethnicity to do so.

The proportion of Asian, Black, Mixed heritage, Other ethnicities and White colleagues in each quartile pay band

Partner pay gap

Our Partner mean and median gender pay gap figures show an increase in the period to April 2022, from 26.1% and 18.7% to 29.5% and 22.2% respectively. This is due to having proportionally more national partners who are men than women, where in the main, national partners awards tend to be higher than general partner counterparts. Our mean Partner bonus pay gap has significantly reduced once again, from 5.3% to -1.9%. Our median Partner bonus pay gap has reduced even further, decreasing from 7.2% to -2.6%. The proportion of women partners in receipt of a bonus increased year on year, from 90% to 92% – which remained higher than the number of male partners in receipt of a bonus, at 88.9%. We continue to support the career progression of our talented women into senior leadership and partnership roles.

Reporting transparently

As part of our commitment to diversity and inclusion, we are constantly reviewing our approach to the depth of reporting. We encourage all our people to share diversity data, so that we can continue to make improvements that benefit everyone.

Our methodology

We are required to report our gender pay gap data for each separate legal entity that has at least 250 employees. We have therefore reported data for RSM UK Tax and Accounting Ltd and RSM UK Management Ltd. It’s important to us that we consider the picture for all employees, so figures in this report combine the data of both entities.

In addition to our employee pay gaps, we voluntarily report our partner pay gaps.

Current statutory pay gap calculations require us to exclude undisclosed ethnicities and declarations of gender identity that are not binary, ie, it includes only ‘men’ and ‘women’. Therefore, while we recognise and celebrate colleagues of all gender identities at RSM, we have had to exclude the following:

11.2% for non-disclosure of ethnicity
0.6% of employees because of their non-binary or undisclosed gender identity

Calculating the mean

We add up the rates of pay of all men, and the rates of pay of all women, and then divide these figures by the total number in each group. We then report the percentage difference between these two figures as our mean gender pay gap.

We repeat this process for ethnic minority employees and non-ethnic minority employees, and report the percentage difference as our mean ethnicity pay gap. The same methodology is applied in this report to show the difference between Black, Asian, Mixed heritage and Other ethnic minority employees and all White employees.

Calculating the median

We list rates of pay for every man and every woman, and we report the middle point of each list as the median. We then report the percentage difference between these two figures as our median gender pay gap. We repeat this process for ethnic minority employees and non-ethnic minority employees, and for each specific ethnic group, and report the percentage difference as our median ethnicity pay gap. Our bonus mean and median pay gaps are calculated the same way.


How we are addressing pay gaps at RSM

Our approach

There are many causes of pay gaps, so we take a holistic approach to identify and remove any (actual or perceived) barriers to career success at RSM for everyone. To that end, we have pinpointed four key areas where we continue to focus our efforts. These are:
– our culture; 
– talent acquisition;
– talent development and career progression; and
– enhanced inclusive networks.

Cultural change

Creating an inclusive culture at RSM is essential to ensure people feel they belong and can build rewarding careers with us. We consciously aim to give our people confidence that their needs are listened to and supported, because their input will enable us to create the supportive environment they need to thrive.

We are taking steps in three areas to make our culture more inclusive through our ‘Listen. Educate. Act.’ strategy.


To make meaningful change, we seek to understand the challenges that people face during their careers. The ‘Listen’ part of our strategy is designed to develop a culture where people are encouraged to share their experiences and feel they’re genuinely being listened to.

By gathering data through the pay gap analysis process, we can better understand the situation as it currently stands and investigate that data to identify trends. We also believe that sharing the data helps to foster a culture of openness.

Through our employee networks and groups and our D&I events, we have established spaces where people can share their personal experiences and we can take learnings to drive change. Our networks play a vital role in educating colleagues across the firm and influencing our culture through events and activities that everyone can participate in. We have also embedded D&I groups into a number of our service lines, which we envisage will increase participation in the conversation, help identify any issues relevant to the specific service line and take more targeted actions.


The ‘Educate’ phase of our strategy aims to encourage everyone at RSM to gain a better understanding of how we can address these challenges. We take an ‘always-on’ approach to education to foster a culture of continual learning and evolution.

To maintain momentum, we have a D&I communications calendar to ensure we regularly post content and videos about diversity and inclusion topics on our internal collaboration platform. We also host regular panel discussions and events to raise awareness of the challenges people can encounter and encourage everyone to join the conversation.
Allyship is an important part of ‘Educate’. Becoming an ally means being available to listen, increasing our awareness of our colleagues’ experiences and supporting each other in the most appropriate and effective way.

In May 2021, we established a Culture of Allyship programme, which brought together colleagues and partners across the business with a passion for supporting people in underrepresented groups. The group has created an allyship hub with resources including podcasts, playlists, TED Talk videos and online learning resources that support education. ‘Lunch and Learn’ sessions were delivered throughout our offices to show the importance of allyship and educate people on how to be an effective ally. Through changes made to our ‘High Five’ recognition scheme, we now encourage individuals to recognise colleagues who show examples of allyship in action.


The ‘Act’ phase of our strategy builds on the learnings we take from ‘Listen’ and ‘Educate’ and includes the actions we take to drive change.

In recent years, we have raised the profile of flexible working to help people overcome the challenge of balancing their career with their personal commitments. We continue to develop our approach to hybrid working, giving employees greater choice over when and where they work while ensuring everyone has the tools and environment they need to thrive.

While our senior leadership team is actively involved in our initiatives, there is work to be done by everyone. We want to ensure that every decision maker or colleague with power to influence other people’s careers is helping us drive change and supporting our culture of inclusion. D&I and unconscious bias training is encouraged for anyone who manages people at RSM to help ensure day-to-day decision making considers everyone.

This year, we 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. Our aim is to create a more inclusive culture in which we understand, embrace and learn from different cultures and experiences to help shape the business.

We are proud of the upward trend in the proportion of trainees we’re welcoming from ethnically diverse backgrounds. From FY21 to FY22, the percentage increased from 31.2% to 37%. We will support many people from past, present and future cohorts through strategies such as ‘Grow Our Own’ as they progress into more senior positions at RSM.

We are continually reviewing our recruitment processes at all levels to make sure they are open and a career at RSM is appealing to everyone. This year, we have continued to develop our in-house talent acquisition team, so that we have more control and visibility of the process and accountability for the outcomes.

One of the key goals of our national talent acquisition team is to increase opportunities for diverse talent to join RSM. As part of that aim, we review job descriptions to ensure use of neutral language. We have also broadened the number of platforms we use to advertise roles. These changes are designed to increase our visibility within diverse talent pools and demonstrate our ambition to recruit individuals who reflect our clients and communities. We continue to gather data on candidates and the candidate experience to identify whether we can further develop our approach. 

We work in partnership with a number of social mobility programmes and organisations including; Access Accountancy, Rise and Leadership Through Sport and Business, who we have worked with since 2014. Through this scheme we offer school leavers from underprivileged areas apprenticeship positions and support them as they study for professional qualifications.   

We are proud to be a 10,000 Black Interns partner, providing paid opportunities for young Black talent to gain valuable skills while taking the opportunity to learn from their experiences. Another strand of our work in talent acquisition is sharing more about RSM’s inclusive culture to help applicants envisage a career with us.

Looking ahead

Continuing to evaluate our recruitment and joining processes through in-depth data analysis and qualitative feedback will help us to find ways to make joining RSM the most informative and engaging experience it can be for our candidates from all backgrounds. Our aim is to show our commitment to our people from the outset and, in turn, nurture their commitment to our firm. In the year ahead, we will also look to continue to broaden our hiring managers’ knowledge and skills in diversity and inclusion.

It is crucial that we create opportunities for underrepresented groups to progress at RSM and reach senior levels. To that end, unconscious bias training is available for managers, and anyone involved in developing other people’s careers to reduce the risk of inadvertently limiting others’ potential.

To enable people to progress at their own pace, we provide the opportunity to self-nominate for our management and leadership development programmes, empowering our people to take control of their own careers.

To further drive progress, we have enhanced our new partner development programme with modules that nurture inclusive leadership skills and provide confidence in leading behavioural change at a cultural level.

Looking ahead

To increase visibility of opportunities, we have introduced a new AI-powered talent platform designed to help us share internal vacancies in a user-friendly way. We believe this will give our people better sight of opportunities across our firm, particularly those at higher levels with greater renumeration potential. The talent platform will also help us increase the depth of our diversity analysis, as it collects, manages, and helps key people visualise relevant talent data. We can track KPIs such as retention and career progression to understand if our strategies are effective in addressing factors like our ethnicity and gender pay gaps.

2023 will also see enhancements to our mentoring programme, with the aim of connecting all employees who are seeking guidance with a mentor. We support both mentors and mentees with training to help foster effective relationships and career support.

Enhanced inclusive networks

Through our networks, we create more ways for our diverse talent to share their lived experiences and be heard. Our networks also promote a sense of belonging and allyship, giving people support in personal and professional growth. Key figures within each network continue to engage colleagues in discussing a wide range of topics, such as why diversity matters, how best to manage junior progression, and increasing awareness of each employee’s unique experience.

This year, we have made continued progress to strengthen our networks, incorporating groups for the trans community and neurodiversity. We always seek to increase the openness, transparency and fairness of our work and subsequently our reporting, with an extended definition of diversity that goes beyond binary gender and ethnicity.

EnABLE Network
EmbRACE Network
Multi-faith Network
Empower Network
PRISM Network

EnABLE is our disability network, launched in 2021 with the aim of supporting disability inclusion and neurodiversity at RSM. Its purpose is to raise awareness and help us understand how to make our environments and procedures inclusive and supportive for all.

EmbRACE encourages our people to share stories, celebrate success and discuss how we can better support our ethnically and culturally diverse communities at RSM.

The BEN (Black Employee Network) group was created as part of EmbRACE. BEN focuses on supporting Black employees and partners throughout their careers at RSM.

The Faith network encourages our people to openly discuss, celebrate and practice their faith at work, and to learn more about each other.

Empower supports and advocates gender equality at RSM with a particular focus on assisting women into leadership roles. The Family Forward sub-group challenged perceptions around parental leave impacting career progression. We are reviewing the group’s purpose this year.

PRISM is an open forum for LGBTQ+ people and their allies, providing support, sharing experiences and celebrating the diversity of the community. This year, PRISM has launched an online trans support platform.

Looking ahead

Our networks have proven successful in championing a culture of allyship and helping people across the business to understand and address issues affecting different groups. The future focus for all our networks is to work together to evolve our intersectionality approach so our networks are seen more as a community and a safe place for peer support. By working together, they will increase the value they provide by amplifying the different voices and perspective of our people to achieve impactful engagement across RSM. 

Related content 

Gender pay gap information 

We are required to report our gender pay gap data for each separate legal entity that has at least 250 employees. We have therefore reported data for RSM UK Tax and Accounting Ltd and RSM UK Management Ltd. 

Find out more >

Diversity and inclusion

Fostering a collective culture of inclusion which values and celebrates all differences is important to us. We strive to cultivate an environment where all our people feel empowered to bring their whole selves to work, to thrive and to truly belong.

Find out more >

Diversity and inclusion pay gap report 2020

We report our gender and ethnicity pay and bonus gaps for 2020, and provide an update on our progress towards achieving our diversity and inclusion ambitions.

Find out more >

Diversity and inclusion pay gap report 2021

We report our gender and ethnicity pay and bonus gaps for 2020, and provide an update on our progress towards achieving our diversity and inclusion ambitions.

Find out more >