It’s Time for Change! Diversity in Accounting and Finance
In 2019, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) released a startling statistic. According to their report, only 29% of professionals on accounting and finance teams identified as non-white. Of leadership teams and firm partners, only 9% identified as non-white.
The Association of Accountants and Financial Professionals in Business also conducted recent research, stating that only 8.9% of finance industry professionals identified as Hispanic, 8.5% as Black, and 12% as Asian. Their statistics also show these numbers dipping further when surveying C-suite roles. Clearly, minorities are misrepresented within the finance industry, which sends distinct, if unintentional, messages to an increasingly diverse country.
It’s time to take action –to focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI).
Make it a Priority
Yes, hiring is based on who best fits the qualities required for the positions, but make it a priority to search a broad base of diverse candidates. Differing backgrounds, ethnicities, etc., bring various input, perspectives, and talents to your team. It’s not about meeting a quota or sending a virtue signal — it’s good business sense!
Start Recruitment Early
Because there are so few accounting and finance professionals representing minorities, young people within those groups might not recognize this incredible career path! Reach out to local high schools, community groups, and youth organizations, particularly in minority neighborhoods and communities. Offer to present the benefits of choosing a career in accounting and finance. Building these relationships creates a pipeline of talent to your door. It’s a long-term vision, but building a diverse team doesn’t happen overnight.
Networking provides opportunities for you to learn, provide mentorship, and perhaps recruit candidates – foster diversity in your networking. Reach out to organizations such as the National Association of Black Accountants, Ascend, and Association of Latino Professionals for America for tips about hiring minorities. In addition, connect with minority-owned firms and businesses, both large and small.
Teach your firm (especially your leadership team) about the true meaning and benefits of DEI. Invest in the necessary training resources to cast vision and keep the team up to speed. Provide clear communication and ensure you’re open to their feedback and ideas!
Diversity in the workplace has many benefits. It –
- Presents a melting pot of varied ideas and perspectives.
- Improves problem-solving, resulting in better solutions.
- Builds employee connection and engagement
- Increases employee retention and client loyalty
Running a diverse firm confirms to your staff that each one is a vital and valuable part of the team. In addition, it demonstrates to your clientele that you honor everyone’s rights to the excellent service you provide.
At The Robert Joseph Group, we’re your premier accounting and finance resource firm, providing access to a diverse talent group of both interim and permanent placement accounting and finance executives. Contact us today.