A commitment from top leadership, a forward-looking plan and constant communication can help diversity and inclusion efforts yield the best results. Other imperatives include an honest assessment of strengths and weaknesses and organically integrated training.
Anti-bias training is a starting point that must be customized and integrated with an ongoing diversity and inclusion effort rather than being presented as a one-time event. For example, an organization known as Living Cities has a special team that spends a significant percentage of its work hours on addressing racial equity and inclusion issues and designs monthly educational programs for the whole staff.
Data shows that Black women remain underrepresented in the accounting profession. Providing tailored support for Black female accountants can benefit this group as well as other underrepresented groups and the profession as a whole, notes Jina Etienne, CPA, CGMA, and a member of the AICPA Foundation Board of Trustees. Etienne explains how firms can widen access to networking and development and disrupt workplace norms that create obstacles.
In some cases, people may recognize that gender inequality exists in the business world as a whole while overlooking issues in their own companies. It's possible for leaders to address this issue by acknowledging the reality of the situation, focusing on learning and helping others identify instances of inequality.
Diversity and inclusion should not be restricted to the hiring process but should instead be essential to all parts of a company's operations. Organizations can begin to identify and address bias by asking how customers with different abilities, backgrounds and demographic characteristics use their services.
Members of the OneTen coalition, which includes businesses such as Deloitte and Accenture, are participating in a 10-year campaign to hire 1 million Black Americans. The initiative is encouraging companies to take a "skills-first approach" to hiring as they seek to close the wealth gap in American society.
Diverse hiring practices can achieve representation, but inclusion is also needed to deliver real results, notes Alan Bowser of Bridgewater Associates. This article discusses the four components of developing true inclusion as well as the value of using mentoring programs to create opportunity.
Demographic changes in the workforce -- including those related to age and gender -- mean that employers need to rethink their career paths. The process will involve tracking key demographic data, focusing on enhanced flexibility and highlighting the potential for all employees to act as leaders, workers and learners.
Companies and their leaders should start with candid self-evaluations to eradicate microaggressions. It's important to address microaggressions regardless of offenders' intent and facilitate open discussions.
Nasdaq's proposal to require women and members of underrepresented groups on boards of listed companies has drawn a variety of reactions. Under the proposal, companies would have up to five years to meet the standard or explain why they didn't.
Have you seen any advancements in your firm or organization's culture of diversity, equity and inclusion this year?
Not applicable; DEI efforts have been consistent at my firm/organization.
I don't know
AICPA Diversity & Inclusion News
February webcast: Bridging Difference with Courageous Conversations
Join Yaro Fong-Olivares, director for the Center for Women and Business and Executive Education at Bentley University, on Tuesday, Feb. 16, from 2 to 3 p.m. ET for a thought-provoking webcast on Bridging Difference with Courageous Conversations. Participants will learn how to have effective, authentic and honest conversations on difficult topics at work. You can register for the webcast through the webcasts section of the AICPA Diversity and Inclusion website.
SAVE THE DATE: 2021 AICPA Accounting Scholars Leadership Workshop and Accounting Profession Diversity Symposium
Please save the date for our 2021 Accounting Scholars Leadership Workshop (ASLW) on Oct. 13-15 and our Accounting Profession Diversity Symposium on Oct. 13-14 in New Orleans. The Student Workshop will aim to strengthen ethnic minority students' professional skills and understanding of the limitless possibilities and benefits of earning the CPA credential. The symposium provides a platform for professionals from organizations, universities and state societies to explore diversity-related best practices and identify ways to overcome obstacles in filling and retaining the accounting pipeline with diverse professionals. More information about the Symposium will be available soon on our Professionals page.
The American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) is the world’s largest member association representing the CPA profession, with more than 418,000 members in 143 countries, and a history of serving the public interest since 1887. AICPA members represent many areas of practice, including business and industry, public practice, government, education and consulting. The AICPA sets ethical standards for the profession and U.S. auditing standards for private companies, not-for-profit organizations, federal, state and local governments. It develops and grades the Uniform CPA Examination and offers credentials for a number of specialized areas. With The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), it offers the Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA) designation, which sets the global benchmark for quality and recognition in management accounting.
About the AICPA National Commission on Diversity and Inclusion
The AICPA National Commission on Diversity and Inclusion was formed to serve as champions within the accounting profession and to work toward proposing strategies to recruit, retain, and advance minorities in the profession. The National Commission on Diversity and Inclusion has set a new course to address best practices and develop tools to help members and firms succeed in their diversity and inclusion efforts.