Promoting Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
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Professional Insights

Promoting Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Oct 24, 2022 · 2 min read · AICPA Insights Blog

Develop and sustain a diverse workforce for an atmosphere of inclusion for the employees. This is imperative to the longevity and productivity of your workplace. Implement practices throughout an organization focused on diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I). Examples discussed in Equity & Inclusioninclude a government strategic plan case study, which is critical for organizations to make their workforces diverse and work environments equitable and inclusive.

The following are some proven methods to create and enhance an inclusive environment in the organization of the future.

Engage through recognition and celebration

  • Create a calendar that celebrates differences and aims to educate others on those differences so that everyone appreciates and understands each other’s cultures. The calendar can highlight:

    • Holidays and celebrations

    • Awareness days/weeks/months

    • Days of recognition or remembrance

    • History or heritage months

  • Celebrate holidays with your team — not just the usual Christmas and Thanksgiving celebrations. Consider other holidays your staff may celebrate such as Juneteenth or Hannukah.

    • Consider surveying your staff on holidays they’d like to see celebrated.

  • Host a potluck where employees bring their favorite dish or a dish that reflects their heritage.

  • Celebrate our differences by observing months such as Pride Month, Women’s History Month, Black History Month or Asian Pacific American Month.

    • Highlight people of excellence related to these months — whether they are internal or external.

  • Send emails or newsletters highlighting team members to learn about each other’s backgrounds.

Engage your employees

  • Create a DE&I suggestion box (consider having an option for anonymous suggestions to increase participation).

  • Create employee resource groups.

  • Survey your employees to find out what DE&I support initiatives they want to see — provide guidance, but let employees take the lead on group creation.

    • Employee resource groups are a great way for employees with common interests to get together and share and celebrate differences in a safe space. Others outside the group are welcome to join to listen and learn about the group and become allies.

  • Survey your employees to find out what DE&I support initiatives they want to see — provide guidance, but let employees take the lead on group creation.

Engage with your community

  • Establish relationships with community organizations, especially those focusing on DE&I.

    • Bring in speakers from the community and facilitate discussions related to DE&I.

  • Volunteer in the community.

  • Hold events in the community.

    • Engage the community to see how the government can better serve it.

  • Start a mentoring program for underserved or underrepresented students.

Supporting resources

When it’s clear your organization values the individuality of employees, it creates a more engaged workforce. This is a continuing process. Implementing a few of these activities does not automatically make your organization equitable and inclusive; they must be used in conjunction with other practices throughout the entire workplace to meet your DE&I goals. See the example approach below taken from the AICPA Accounting Inclusion Maturity Model.

AICPA Accounting Inclusion Maturity Model.

Further resources can be found here:

Katherine Patnaude, CPA

Katherine Patnaude is a Senior Manager with PKF O’Connor Davies, LLP with over 10 years of experience in governmental auditing and accounting. She is responsible for providing audit, review, agreed-upon procedures, and consulting services for a wide variety of municipal entities including cities, towns, boroughs and districts. Katherine is a 2014 AICPA Leadership Academy graduate and is a member of the AICPA’s Government Performance & Accountability Committee (GPAC). Additionally, Katherine has served the Connecticut Society of CPAs in many capacities, including the Governmental Accounting and Auditing Committee, Board of Directors, Advisory Council and Accounting Scholarship Foundation.

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