Life at PKF

Pride month: A conversation with Stephen Kenny, Partner

Tell us about yourself.

I’m Stephen, a Partner in PKF’s Private Client Tax team. I head up the team and also work with a number of our clients, particularly those involved with business partnerships or private equity.

Outside of work, I enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking and sailing. I’ve just finished renovating my house so hopefully I’ll now get the chance to spend time outside again – just in time for summer!

How does PKF encourage its people to be themselves?

Lots of businesses claim that they want their staff to be themselves in the workplace – but then they don’t give them the flexibility to do that. It’s very different here. Being authentic is part of the culture and is supported by policies we put in place and the initiatives that we run – from our relaxed dress code, which empowers us to make our own judgement on how we want to present ourselves to the world, to the various events and forums that we provide for our colleagues to share their experiences and interests.

Q. How do you support PKF’s focus on diversity and inclusion?

A. I believe it’s important to show how much we value the contribution that each person makes to the firm, not just in terms of the work that they produce but also what they bring to our community through their character, background and experiences. We’re all different, and these differences are an important part of what makes working here so interesting and rewarding. 

How has being LGBTQIA+ in the accounting industry changed over the course of your career?

The industry’s approach to LGBTQIA+ issues has completely changed. It used to be a taboo subject; and if it ever did get spoken about, then it was almost always in a negative way. That’s no longer the case, thankfully: we can celebrate our differences and be proud to be part of the LGBTQIA+ community.

Why is it important to have allies at PKF?  And how can people be good allies?

I know from personal experience how daunting it can be to come out at work. That’s why it’s vital that we create an environment where everyone can be open and authentic; otherwise people end up wasting so much energy trying to hide who they really are. Allies can help by showing their support and getting involved in the various inclusion initiatives that the firm organises – it makes a big difference when people show a genuine interest.

What does Pride mean to you?

Pride, to me, is about being able to be yourself without fear. The goal is to give everyone the opportunity to be themselves, which surely has to be one of the most fundamental rights that we have as people.