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Our people

Life
at PA

Our mission

Our future starts with our people. They are the inspiration for our purpose and live it every day. Growing and supporting them is the best investment we can make.

We continually improve our people’s experience of being part of PA, shaping an inclusive culture that prizes diversity and wellbeing, recognises individual and team achievements, mentors and develops people, and offers opportunities to support our communities.

Growing our team of ingenious people

We’re several years into an exciting growth journey that’s seeing us welcome ingenious new people to PA to do the innovative work that sets us apart. Breadth and depth matter to us.

Our diverse teams of experts – strategists, innovators, designers, consultants, digital experts, scientists, engineers and technologists – are winning exciting work with world-leading clients, shaping global conversations on critical issues, and supporting our communities by volunteering our skills and expertise.

There’s never been a better time to join PA. We’re fired up by the chance to work with brilliant people, and to be bold and original in our thinking. And we welcome diverse talent who can apply their ideas, expertise and commitment, creating opportunity from the world’s biggest challenges.

  • In 2021 we ramped up our recruitment to meet the growing and evolving needs of our clients, welcoming nearly 1,300 people across our global offices, including 50 new partners with expertise in business-critical areas including renewable energy, digital transformation and product design.

    And we grew our business in the US to capitalise on the growing opportunities of exciting global clients, and social and political change. Meanwhile, our strategic partnership with Jacobs enabled us to accelerate our growth plans in the market.

Group of colleague

Supporting our people to bring their full selves to work

We recognise an inclusive culture invites diversity – and diverse thinking fuels ingenuity. So, we continue to create an even more inclusive place to work where people feel engaged, energised, motivated, and where they can bring their full selves to work.

  • We made progress against our commitments to fight racism and drive lasting change. We ran firmwide training on topics such as allyship, and we held conversations with leadership teams about intersectionality and tokenism. We launched a Women in Leadership programme that supports our drive to increase representation of women at senior levels by building professional growth and aspiration – and helping to break down any barriers to progression.

  • We partnered with schools, colleges and universities, and specialist recruitment firms, to recruit more diverse talent at every level. To empower young people from diverse backgrounds to fulfil their ambitions, we joined forces with the National Society for Black Engineers (NSBE) and Generation Success, and improved the diversity of our graduate recruitment pipeline.

  • We backed new initiatives from our RISE, Mental Health and Wellbeing, PRIDE, and Women’s employee networks, and we launched a new Military Network.

  • We help our teams hone their craft by offering ongoing learning and mentorship opportunities. During the year, our people completed the equivalent of more than three years of virtual learning on PA Academy. Our Learning and Development team launched 16 new courses. These range from professional skills (such as how to use LinkedIn for business development and how to present virtually), to inclusivity awareness (such as how to be an ally and how to support people with dyslexia). Meanwhile, our Graduate Development Programme and Mentoring circles supported the onboarding of 172 Graduate analysts across our offices in five countries.

Group of colleagues working

Recognising our team’s achievements

Every day, our people go above and beyond for their teams and clients. Unprecedented changes in society and technology have created new opportunities for us to make a positive impact. From industry award wins to the celebration of standout individual contributions, we recognise and reward our people’s achievements.

  • We celebrated 17 winners of our new Purpose Awards, which recognise PA people who have gone the extra mile in their client work or for our people. Nominated by their colleagues, our Purpose Award winners made a huge impact, from developing an automated way for local councils in the UK to contact thousands of vulnerable residents per day during the height of the COVID-19 crisis, to raising awareness of mental health and wellbeing within PA, to setting up a mentoring programme pairing PA people with young people from disadvantaged backgrounds.

  • We watched with pride as Oliver Excell was made an OBE in recognition of his work on the vital UK Vaccine Taskforce effort. Oliver and his team worked closely with global pharmaceutical companies to secure the supply of COVID-19 vaccines for the UK.

  • And we won leading industry awards. The Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply crowned the UK Vaccine Taskforce the overall winner of their Excellence in Procurement Awards. Our design and engineering team won two iF Design Awards for developing more accessible make-up products with Guide Beauty, and creating a unique system for measuring food quality with TeakOrigin. And our digital experts won the Digital Technology Leaders Award for Digital Team of the Year for their innovative work with coffee and food chain Pret A Manger.

Kirsty Sneddon

Supporting our communities

Our people give their time and expertise to support communities and inspire people, particularly those facing disadvantage, to be the innovators and leaders of tomorrow.

  • To amplify our impact, we established The PA Foundation, and seeded it with a £10 million donation. The PA Foundation will support our employee volunteering efforts by providing grants to charities and non-profit organisations. Our people will volunteer their skills and experience, working alongside the Foundation, to make a real difference.

  • We also welcomed disadvantaged young people onto our virtual UK and US Springboard work experience programme, where our experts and clients mentored them as they developed solutions to global issues. We donated hundreds of PA laptops to The Turing Trust, so they can continue to give children in the UK and Malawi digital access. Through our Raspberry Pi Competition, we challenged students in the UK and the Netherlands to put their engineering and coding skills to the test, using a Raspberry Pi microcomputer to design technology to create a positive human future for everyone following the global pandemic. While our Women in Tech (WiT) network trained women in digital skills to address the gender imbalance in technology careers.

  • We continued to champion equal opportunity across defence through our longstanding partnership with Women in Defence UK, whereby our people volunteer time for activities including a cross-defence mentoring programme that had 80 per cent more mentee-mentor pairings last year. And we provided coaching services to The Forces Employment Charity to support military veterans who are looking for work or transitioning out of the armed forces.

Women in Defence UK Awards 2021

Being a responsible business

Our people are committed to always doing the right thing, not just the easy thing.

That principle is essential to using the power of ingenuity to build a positive human future. And it inspires us as we continue to be a responsible business, particularly in our efforts to positively impact the environment.

  • We signed up to the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi), making a commitment to use scientific evidence as the basis for goals that will see us help limit global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. In announcing our commitment to achieving Net Zero by 2030, we’ve focused our carbon reduction efforts on fuel, electricity and business travel, and got started immediately with a programme to switch to renewable energy sources at our Global Innovation and Technology Centre.

  • Not only do we aspire to do the right thing, we seek to be the catalyst for others to do so as well.

  • We continued to be a participant in, and specialist technical advisor to, the UN Global Compact, the largest corporate sustainability initiative in the world. The partnership ensures we have a finger on the pulse of our clients’ sustainability needs. And for those organisations that might be a bit lost for what to do, we stretched their thinking about the art of the possible by leading the conversation in the market. This included talking transport decarbonisation and the hydrogen economy at COP26, publishing original research on the untapped potential of water to reduce carbon emissions, and writing about how sport can become sustainable in Forbes.

Sustainability conference
Ingenuity review 2021

Momentum.
Together.

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There’s never been a better time to join PA

There are many reasons PA is a special place to work, and that starts with our purpose. We recognise that in bringing ingenuity to life for our clients, we need people with innovative thinking and different perspectives. That’s where you come in.

When you join PA, we ask for your ideas, expertise and commitment. In return, we’ll give you stimulating work that improves people’s lives, opportunities to learn from brilliant people and a supportive culture where you can thrive.

Find your career at PA