Oct 15, 2012

Archie Bunker, Diversity Champion

allinthefamily11By Lori Braden, Vice President, Strategic Marketing 

I borrowed this headline from the editor of Diversity Executive magazine. It caught my eye, and I’m sure it caught yours. Anyone who’s ever watched an episode of All in the Family knows that Archie Bunker was anything but inclusive.

In her “From the Editor” column in Diversity Executive, Kelley Whitney writes, “Archie Bunker was unashamedly racist. He had strong opinions and ideas about how things should be and what would happen to the world if his views weren’t implemented. Of course, he was full of it. But he was funny, he was honest and he was unashamed to express thoughts that were outside the norm…Archie’s living room and that ragged recliner he was always sitting in were like a free forum. That comfortable room could be a stand-in for the type of culture that diversity-savvy organizations try to build, sans misogyny and racism, of course.”

PICPA’s Diversity Committee knew they were tackling an uncomfortable and challenging topic when they set out to research and write a paper on the business imperative for minority hiring and the strategies that can be used for minority recruiting and retention. These discussions may make some feel uncomfortable, but to progress, we must be honest about the past and present.

With contributions from Frank Ross, CPA, and Allyson Clarke, CPA, both of Howard University’s Center for Accounting Education, Mike Gelb of Gelb Strategies,  and Dr. Hubert Glover, CPA, of Drexel University, the Diversity Committee is proud to release:

Increasing Talent, Clients, and Revenue at Your Organization: The Business Case and Toolkit for Diversity


Here are a some highlights: 

  • By 2050, minorities will become the majority of the U.S. population. 
  • There were 5.8 million minority-owned businesses in 2007—an increase of 45.6 percent from 2002. 
  • The growing number of minority business owners represents a significant opportunity for accounting firms that appreciate and reflect the potential client’s value. 
  • Competence and offerings being equal, minority-owned businesses will likely choose to do business with a provider that embraces diversity. 
  • Accounting firms can better market to prospects and understand and serve their clients when there is a shared value of diversity.
Ideally, you’ll read the paper in its entirety. At the very least, take a look at the table of contents and flip around. The toolkit is especially helpful. Consider the arguments, review the statistics, and challenge yourself to do something different. Share a copy with senior management and human resources at your organization. If your team is already on the right track, forward the paper along to a friend or colleague. Awareness is half the battle.

In his article “Why Diversity—Why Now?” Reggie Butler, CPA, a partner at PwC says it best. Organizations that dismiss or delay diversity “may find themselves unable to attract and retain the kinds of customers, employees, and business partners that constitute our changing world.”

You can’t afford to be left behind.

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Statements of fact and opinion are the authors’ responsibility alone and do not imply an opinion on the part of PICPA officers or members. The information contained in herein does not constitute accounting, legal, or professional advice. For professional advice, please engage or consult a qualified professional.