Our People: Mark
Inclusion & Diversity Advisor
Mark worked at an advisory firm, Makinson Cowell, before they were acquired by KPMG in 2014. H moved across in his role in desktop publishing before joining our Inclusion & Diversity team where he is now a Project Administrator.
“I joined Makinson Cowell after finishing my A-Levels in 2001. About seven months after I joined them, I suffered a sudden loss of sight, in the space of six weeks went from having 20/20 vision to being registered blind. Obviously that was a massive life changing event for me, but Makinson Cowell was very supportive. I continued in my role and they adapted my workstation providing me with the workplace adjustments I needed.
“When KPMG acquired Makinson Cowell I continued in a similar role. They were very good with my disability, very quickly assessing the support I had in case I needed more, and offering me familiarisation days at the new office to get me orientated and embedded within the firm.
“I quickly got involved in KPMG’s employee networks. Their disability network, WorkAbility, was very useful for me. I could talk to people with similar experiences and get help in understanding how the organisation works.
“In fact, I ended up so involved that I came to be chair of the WorkAbility network, which I now co-chair with my colleague Elizabeth Jessop.
“Since moving into the Inclusion & Diversity team I have taken on responsibilities in managing the employee networks alongside other I&D projects linked to the firm’s diversity targets. For example, our pioneering Return to Work programme for people who have taken a career break of 18 months or more, and our grow development programme which focuses on the development of under represented groups at Manager level.
“I believe that KPMG stands for freedom, and freedom of thought. Even at a junior level your opinion is highly valued. It encourages people to be innovative, collaborate and think freely.
“You make your own journey at KPMG. The tools and resources are left at your disposal.”
“There’s an emphasis on developing your own career. You can find people to coach and mentor you into where you want to go, and I’ve been on both ends of that. It’s an easy place to reach out to people and have a chat with them.
“I’ve taken part in mentoring at St Mungo’s, the homeless charity, thanks to our Corporate Responsibility programme and the extensive range of volunteering opportunities available at KPMG. I really enjoyed that and it also helped develop my networks within the firm. I started to realise how many other parts of KPMG there were. Even now I feel I’m discovering new things. This isn’t a firm of just accountants.”