Behind the scenes of a DEI-Project with Strategy&

Interview with Nicole Hildebrandt from Strategy& about our award-winning Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Tipping Point Leaders Program.

In April 2023, we received the golden European Training Award for our Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) Tipping Point Leaders Program for PwC Strategy& in the Mixed Training category. The following interview with Strategy&’s project leader, Nicole Hildebrandt, not only describes the specifics that made the joint program a success, but also shares tips on how other companies can successfully implement DEI measures.

MagnoliaTree (MT): Dear Nicole, what was the motivation for starting the project?

Nicole Hildebrandt (NH): At Strategy&, we have been intensively pursuing various sustainability initiatives for several years, and the topic of DEI has become increasingly important. It was originally a grassroots initiative by committed employees who wanted to actively pursue change instead of passively waiting. It is part of our corporate culture to take initiative and responsibility.

MT: What were the factors that made this program a success?

NH: Three aspects come to my mind: First, top management support. Second, the mobilization of the organization at all levels. And third, the high level of commitment and passion of the employees who participated in the initiative.

Nicole about the surprising moments of the program.

At first, the topic was new for many of us, including me. I was constantly encountering new aspects and perspectives. Second, I realized that awareness is only the first step. It takes concrete practice in everyday life to really change patterns of thinking and behavior. In the end, the work on the program was very touching and many very personal contacts and conversations arose.

MT: What are the next steps for this program?

NH: DEI content, initially made available only to selected groups, is now accessible to all employees. They are presented in our DEI morning sessions, a short, inspiring online format that summarizes the most important topics around DEI. More info is available on the Strategy& DEI web page.

MT: What do you think is needed to create awareness for this topic, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI), in companies?

NH: It starts with open conversations at all levels and channels. Showing and addressing personal concern is the next step. Then, targeted programs should be planned to impart basic knowledge until it is firmly anchored in the corporate culture.

MT: Do you have advice for other companies looking to implement such a program?

NH: Absolutely. Here are my recommendations:

  1. Consult younger employees – they are often already further along in these topics.
  2. Create space for initiative and commitment.
  3. Create awareness among management and foster an attitude that allows companies to learn from younger employees.
  4. Provide practical examples and implementation tips to make the topic tangible and actionable.
  5. Create safe spaces for honest conversations.

MT: Thank you very much for this insightful interview, Nicole. We wish you and your company all the best as you continue to implement the program and hope that other companies can benefit from your valuable tips.

NH: Thank you very much. It was a pleasure to share my experience.