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Deloitte D&I champion resigns over bullying allegations

Chris Batson / Alamy Stock Photo

Deloitte’s diversity and inclusion champion has resigned following allegations that she bullied staff at the ‘Big Four’ accounting firm.

Dimple Agarwal, the firm’s deputy chief executive and managing partner of its People and Purpose group, is facing an internal investigation into claims that she “communicated aggressively” and told colleagues to attend “extremely early morning meetings”, according to a report in the Telegraph.

It is understood that more than a dozen complaints have been made against Agarwal, who has now stepped down from her leadership roles.

According to business newspaper City AM, Deloitte UK boss Richard Houston told staff that he was “absolutely committed to ensuring that everyone in our firm is treated with respect” and “will not tolerate behaviours or actions that are inconsistent with our global shared values.”

Houston said in a statement: “After two years on the executive [board] and making a significant contribution to the firm’s people and purpose agenda, Dimple will be stepping down from her leadership roles. We’re grateful for what she’s achieved during her tenure.”

Last month, the UK chair of rival accounting firm KPMG, Bill Michael, stepped down from his role after it emerged he had told staff to “stop moaning” and “playing the victim card” in response to an internal poll about how people were coping during the pandemic. It has also been claimed he told staff that the concept of unconscious bias had been “complete and utter crap for years”.

KPMG has commissioned City law firm Linklaters to run an independent investigation into Michael’s comments.

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