Download our FY19 Annual Report
Looking to do as much as we can to support tomorrow’s world.
Care’s one of our core values as a firm and throughout the year we undertake a large and varied number of initiatives to engage as many of our people as we can in supporting the communities around us, working to make sure that there’s something for everyone to get involved with.
Our annual Community Days see hundreds of our people come together over a weekend to make a real difference; in FY19, we supported 20 social projects around the country. As well as taking part themselves, we invite people to bring along family and friends, making it a great way to introduce them to our brand and values.
In FY19, PwC Belgium participated in the De Warmste Week/Viva for Life initiative, earning 6,840 euros to donate. Within the same initiative, 10 PwC colleagues also took part in the Brussels Warmathon on 20 December 2018, earning additional funds.
As every year, a number of our people took part in our annual Kom op Tegen Kanker quiz to support the PwC participants in the 1,000 km cycling and the 100km running races. A whopping 11,400 euros were raised to donate.
Other sponsored races include the 20 km Brussels, Antwerp 10 Miles, ELA jogging in Liège and the Sfinx Ekiden Ghent race, all raising money for the fight against colon cancer, and the Muddy Angel Run to support the fight against breast cancer. The ELA Jogging also raises money for research into leukodystrophy. Together, almost 5,000 euros were collected. As well as giving money, we hold an annual blood drive.
We offer our time and skills to good causes in the form of pro bono work. In FY19, we supported 15 enterprises, one of which was linked to our partnership with Toolbox, a nonprofit organisation that supports and helps improve the management structures of associations via pro bono professional consultancy.
A Senior Manager with PwC Legal, Jean-François Mouchet took part in the firm’s first pilot project, helping Maison Médicale, an organisation that promotes person-centred primary healthcare, professionalise its governance. "I’ve 30 years of experience in my profession. As well as supporting clients day-to-day, I wanted to use my skills to give back to society. This project enabled me to do just that," Jean-François Mouchet enthuses. He believes that firms should seek to "do things outside of their core business and that they’ve a responsibility to be at the forefront of supporting a better society."
Based on the success of this pilot project, the programme has since been extended with five PwC experts now supporting five organisations.
Our global PwC Shine initiative supports our efforts to assure a diverse and inclusive workforce and create a firm where everyone feels they can be themselves. In FY19, we introduced a D&I role dedicated to this.
In December 2018, PwC hosted an event attended by more than 70 association members celebrating the end of the 2018 mentoring programmes for the European Women on Boards (EWOB) and Belgian Women on Boards (WOB) associations. Attendees from both were joined by peers from Women’s Intergenerational Digital Dialogues (WIDD).
In May 2019, we launched a series of ‘Women’s Inspirational Bites’ with the goal of empowering our female colleagues and help them build a network within the firm. Each event saw female Partners and PwC Belgium’s COO take time over lunch to discuss specific topics and share their experiences. A number of our people joined the PwC Netherlands boat at Amsterdam Gay Pride in August 2019.
One of the core pillars of PwC’s approach to corporate responsibility (CR) is to challenge the digital divide: to contribute to reducing the rising digital gap in our community. Within this, we support any digital initiative open to everybody that aims to raise the digital awareness of teenagers and their parents.
One such is CyberSKool. We also offer teenagers from underprivileged backgrounds or who find themselves in Belgium as refugees the opportunity to work with PwC over the summer months. This not only gives them experience, but also the chance to see what working for a professional services firm is about. They’re financially rewarded for their efforts.
We’ve worked with Passwerk, a social organisation that employs people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) who struggle to enter the job market. As an inclusive employer, we make sure that everyone within PwC is able to work in a comfortable way.For the employees from Passwerk, we proactively sought to offer surroundings in which they’d feel comfortable.
As well as supporting such on-the-ground initiatives, we’re also working with clients who seek to secure digital skills on a broader scale.
In FY19, PwC was tasked by the Flemish Government with carrying out an international study of Flanders’ competitive position in artificial intelligence (AI).
"While Flanders is a hive of activity when it comes to AI, there’s no coordinated effort or vision, making it difficult to not just understand where the region stands, but importantly what other initiatives we could leverage to get the most out of our investments," explains Gert Bergen, Deputy-Head of the Flemish Ministry for work, economy, innovation and sport (at time of interview).
A recent assignment to calculate the cost of FAIR data – data that’s findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable – with the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Research and Innovation (DG RTD) offered us a role in supporting research on a wider and more general scale.
"The compliance of all research data in Europe with FAIR principles will allow science to be more productive; time and investment won’t be wasted on repeating research," Jean-Claude Burgelman, Head of DG RTD’s Unit for Open Data Policies and Science Cloud, explains. He goes on, "imagine if you were to expand that usage of data to Europe’s 21 million smaller and medium-sized businesses. If only a tiny fraction of them used that data, the potential for innovation is substantial."