Diversity champion, 49, at accounting giant Deloitte quits role amid bullying probe

A diversity champion at top account firm Deloitte has ‘stepped down’ after facing an internal investigation over claims of bullying.

Dimple Agarwal, 49, quit her ‘leadership roles’ amid a probe into allegations of inappropriate working practice at the Big Four firm, according to the Daily Telegraph

Richard Houston, UK CEO for Deloitte, said: ‘After two years on the Executive and making a significant contribution to the firm’s People & Purpose agenda, Dimple will be stepping down from her leadership roles. We’re grateful for what she’s achieved during her tenure.’ 

Ms Agarwal is thought to still work for the firm but is currently out of office according to an automated email response seen by MailOnline.

She was a UK deputy chief executive, managing partner of the firm’s People and Purposes group and listed herself on LinkedIn as an LGBQT+ ally for Deloitte Globe and a race ally for Deloitte’s Multicultural Network.

Ms Agarwal faces allegation from staff she ‘communicated aggressively’.

Deloitte is probing allegations of bullying and inappropriate working practice made against Dimple Agarwal, according to the Telegraph

Deloitte is probing allegations of bullying and inappropriate working practice made against Dimple Agarwal, according to the Telegraph

Deloitte is probing allegations of bullying and inappropriate working practice made against Dimple Agarwal, according to the Telegraph

Staff have also accused her of telling colleagues to attend ‘extremely early morning meetings’, the reports add. 

MailOnline has contacted Ms Agarwal for comment. 

In 2019, Ms Agarwal, in her role in Deloitte’s People and Purposes group, announced the firm would double the paid leave period for ‘non-birthing parents’.

The company, which employs around 20,000 people in the UK, had previously given staff two-weeks paid paternity leave, but doubled it to four.

The decision came amid what bosses described as a ‘disappointingly low’ take up of paternity leave.

Speaking at the time, Ms Agarwal said the move followed research by the firm, which found that increasing numbers of working fathers between the age of 24 and 40 were actively involved in day-to-day parenting.

However she said that this wasn’t necessarily reflected in support from their employers.

She said: ‘This promise to our Deloitte families is all part of our commitment to inclusion, where we are creating an environment of respect, dignity and belonging for all.

‘What’s more, we’ve increased flexibility as to when and how this leave can be taken as we recognise that when it comes to family commitments, one size doesn’t fit all.’

In its annual report in October, Deloitte announced partners in the UK were set for a 17 per cent pay cut because of the Covid-19 pandemic’s impact.

In its annual report in October, Deloitte (pictured: a Deloitte headquarters) announced partners in the UK were set for a 17 per cent pay cut because of the Covid-19 pandemic's impact.

In its annual report in October, Deloitte (pictured: a Deloitte headquarters) announced partners in the UK were set for a 17 per cent pay cut because of the Covid-19 pandemic's impact.

In its annual report in October, Deloitte (pictured: a Deloitte headquarters) announced partners in the UK were set for a 17 per cent pay cut because of the Covid-19 pandemic’s impact.

In the same report, the company also offered up details of the company’s ethnicity pay gap. 

There were minimal increases on the mean and median hourly pay gap figures but this.

However Ms Agarwa, who reportedly joined Deloitte in 2004, said this ‘was expected’ due to its efforts to recruit a more diverse workforce – leading to ‘an increase in the proportion of our colleagues from ethnic minorities at our more junior levels’.

Last year a report revealed just 11 of the almost 3,000 equity partners at the Big Four accountancy firms are black.

At the time of the report, in June last year, Deloitte had one black equity partner. EY and KPMG had two each while PwC had six.

In response, Ms Agarwa told the Telegraph: ‘We have a lot to do and much further to go.’

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