Certain problems -- such as a tendency to look for quick fixes or make unrealistic promises -- can derail diversity and inclusion efforts. Companies can avoid these mistakes by following five steps, starting with collecting data at every stage of the talent pipeline.
Feeling overwhelmed, frustrated or anxious during this time of uncertainty? Taking steps to manage stress and anxiety is of critical importance. Now, more than ever, we need to pay attention to our mental and physical wellbeing. Get started with these five tips.
Leaders need to prioritize inclusion as they grapple with changes brought on by the coronavirus pandemic and a shift to remote work. Be aware of how racial and gender discrimination can affect the virtual workplace, and use closed captioning to allow more people to participate in online meetings.
PwC US has kept its focus on employees' well-being as businesses adjust to working from home amid coronavirus restrictions, says Mike Fenlon, chief people officer. He describes how the company has addressed anxiety, offered mental health support and recognized the challenges facing employees.
The work-from-home environment can exacerbate biases in performance evaluation, potentially putting women and other demographic groups at a disadvantage. Some companies are choosing to delay their evaluations, but those that continue with reviews should ensure that managers have clear criteria.
Employers such as Crowe LLP, which recently appointed its first-ever chief diversity officer, are keeping their focus on diversity while navigating the challenges of the pandemic. Evidence suggests that D&I metrics are linked to innovation and superior performance during lean times.
Companies should be aware of evolving gender definitions and identities as they seek to craft appropriate workplace cultures and business practices. Start by considering the assumptions about gender that your company might already be making.
Flexible working arrangements and support for employees who care for children or other family members are crucial amid changes due to the coronavirus. Other key factors include virtual connections and communication.
Women and members of racial and ethnic minority groups may face greater risk of job loss during the coronavirus pandemic than their white male counterparts, recent data suggests. Companies should review their approach to layoffs and personnel management to address the issue. See this article for news on the latest unemployment data.
Workplace changes due to the coronavirus pandemic might deepen generational divides related to technology and earnings capacity. Managers can ease tension with empathy and open communication and a willingness to ditch labels.
The pandemic has the potential to magnify some of the obstacles that women tend to face in the business world, so leaders must be prepared to identify and counteract bias. Among other things, it's critical to be aware of the biases that affect working mothers and use an equitable approach when running virtual meetings.
Education can help employers counteract discrimination toward people of Asian descent, which has increased during the coronavirus outbreak, according to some reports. Checking in with employees and offering timely feedback can be effective tactics.
What is your main concern with COVID-19 disruption as it relates to diversity and inclusion in your organization?
Reduced budget for initiatives
Reduced opportunities for advancement
Layoffs and/or furloughs of diverse employees
Potential disruption of the future pipeline of diverse employees
Other (Please email concerns not addressed in the poll to firstname.lastname@example.org.)
AICPA Diversity & Inclusion News
Webinar Wednesday Series
Join us for these upcoming webcasts in May tailored for accounting students and young professionals:
Technology Etiquette in COVID-19 May 13 - 1 p.m. ET: Jonna Martin will share the secrets of technology etiquette. Join us for an interactive discussion covering insights and practical tips on the power of image, navigating email exchanges, social media etiquette and good networking practices online. Register here.
AI in the Accounting Profession May 20 - 1 p.m. ET: Stephanie Nuesi, a 2019 Forbes Under 30 Scholar and recent recipient of Harvard University's Technology Leadership Award, will give students and professionals entering accounting an understanding of artificial intelligence (AI) in accounting. She will also debunk myths associated with AI and the future of the accounting profession. Register here.
E2 (Encouraging Engagement) in the Accounting Profession May 27 - 1 p.m. ET: Find out about different ways to continue to be involved with the AICPA and other organizations in the accounting profession beyond college and CPA licensure. State society involvement, the AICPA Leadership Academy, and affinity group engagement will be highlighted. Register here.
Accounting Inclusion Maturity Model
Firms recognize the value in diversity and inclusion, but implementation can be challenging. If you're asking yourself, "Where do I start?", complete our Accounting Inclusion Maturity Model. This free assessment tool measures 13 competencies in four core areas (workplace, workforce, marketplace and supplier/community). Use the results to determine next steps, improve results each year and benchmark with other firms.
Online Mentoring Program
Mentoring can pay off big, for both you and your firm. Whether you choose an informal or formal mentoring arrangement, remember that the best mentoring relationships require trust and a good quality match between mentor and mentee. Take advantage of this free benefit for AICPA members. Join today!
Diversity and Inclusion Toolkit
The PCPS Diversity and Inclusion Toolkit is designed to offer suggestions to firms that are looking for a more diverse candidate pool and want to retain and develop talent that represents gender, racial/ethnic, generational/age and perspective differences. Use the roadmap and toolkit as a guide as you set your firm's priorities for increasing diversity and building a culture of inclusion. The toolkit is free for firms that are members of the Private Companies Practice Section (PCPS).
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.