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Reaching out to young people of color when they are in high school can create a talent pipeline for small accounting companies, firm leaders say. Other strategies for promoting diversity include connecting with accounting clubs and organizations, networking on social media platforms, and incorporating quantifiable goals into strategic planning.
Workplace harassment, social exclusion and professional devaluation are more common for LGBTQ professionals in STEM careers than for their non-LGBTQ peers, a recent study shows. Professional societies and employers may be able to address these disparities by drafting clear policies against harassment and carrying out studies of diversity, equity and inclusion.
Last year saw a surge in awareness of diversity issues, and 2021 presents an opportunity to continue turning that awareness into action. The diversity and inclusion landscape could evolve in several key ways as more allies and advocates initiate change, key diversity metrics show up on company reports and consumers demonstrate their commitment to social issues.
COVID-19's legacy of remote work could create new opportunities for inclusion of people with disabilities as well as certain challenges, and employee resource groups will continue to play a vital role going forward. Disability ERG leaders can provide a key communication link to senior management in the post-pandemic workplace.
Paid leave policies -- or lack thereof -- can make a big difference for companies seeking to attract top talent. This article shares several steps to follow when putting a program together, including performing a cost-benefit analysis, consulting with employees and communicating openly about the issue.
Research suggests that gender equity in the workplace is linked to better business decisions and innovation, greater access to talent, a more resilient workforce and fewer cases of sexual harassment. Some of the barriers that women face in the workplace have intensified during the pandemic, but companies can respond by ensuring equal opportunities are available and sending clear messages about the value of employees' contributions.
An employee survey, a public statement and commitment from top leaders can make a good foundation for diversity, equity and inclusion. Embracing a long-term approach is key, as is ensuring that everyone has access to mentoring.
A multigenerational workforce can provide opportunities for employees to share their technological know-how and other kinds of business expertise. Take full advantage by cultivating an environment of psychological safety and mutual respect, and ensure that all generations are learning from one another.
Some future workers who are still in school could face long-term consequences from COVID-19's effects on their education. Business leaders can prepare by recognizing potential gaps and reshaping in-house training to address them.
More than 60 global companies -- including Deloitte, EY, PwC and KPMG -- have pledged to report on various metrics related to environmental, social and governance factors, including measurements related to diversity and inclusion and pay equality. The companies will also advocate for progress toward the goals and a consistent measurement standard.
What DEI initiative do you primarily plan to focus on in 2021?
Implementing a DEI strategy
Recruiting practices and acquiring more diverse employees
Implementing DEI-related trainings for all employees
Creating an affinity support group program for those in need
Focusing on retention of diverse employees (working toward addressing the challenges noted during our forum last October).
All of the above
AICPA Diversity & Inclusion News
Accounting profession commemorating the centennial of the first Black CPA
In honor of Black History Month, we are happy to announce that the accounting profession will be commemorating the centennial of the first Black CPA. With 2021 marking the 100th anniversary of John W. Cromwell Jr.'s landmark achievement, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), Diverse Organization of Firms, Illinois CPA Society, National Association of Black Accountants, and National Society of Black CPAs have come together to announce a year-long national awareness campaign that recognizes Black CPAs in the US and that pushes for greater progress to be made in achieving diversity, inclusion and equity in the CPA profession. See the press release here.
Black History Month webcast
In this Black History Month, the AICPA National Commission on Diversity and Inclusion is hosting a webcast on Bridging Difference with Brave 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 to learn how to have effective, authentic and honest conversations on difficult topics at work. Register here.
Our new AICPA Diversity and Inclusion in the Accounting Profession LinkedIn group
Effective Feb. 1, the AICPA Diversity and Inclusion team consolidated its various LinkedIn profiles and is using only one to share updates related to various efforts around ethnicity, women, LGBTQ and young members. If you would like to receive AICPA Diversity and Inclusion resources and updates, please join the official AICPA Diversity and Inclusion in the Accounting Profession LinkedIn group.
Adding a Ph.D. to your CPA?
It takes a lot to add that Ph.D. to your CPA. We may be able to help. The AICPA Foundation's William (Bill) Ezzell Scholarship awards a one-time $10,000 scholarship to five outstanding accounting Ph.D. candidates who demonstrate significant potential to influence the next generations of CPAs. Deadline to apply is March 1.
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.