Achieving high response rates to questions on socio-economic background can be challenging. PwC have increased response rates from 30% to 80% on a number of key measures in the last two years. Their approach included having senior leaders championing the issue and contextualising the request in the problem they were hoping to help to solve.
Firmwide messages from PwC’s Chief People Officer, a newly formed social mobility network and sharing personal social mobility stories all encouraged completion of the survey. PwC also incorporated the questions into its annual, firmwide compliance training.
Information on how the data would be used was included, along with the purpose: to help improve equality of access to opportunities in the firm, as part of their wider social mobility activity. As a result of these efforts, responses to questions about socio-economic background rose by 50% to over 80% in total, allowing PwC to conduct further analysis looking at intersectionality of characteristics as well as progression and retention rates.