VSCPA President & CEO Stephanie Peters, CAE, has signed the pledge for the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion, the largest CEO-driven business commitment to advance diversity and inclusion within the workplace. The VSCPA is also encouraging members — employers and individuals — to sign on to the pledge, and the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) is asking at least 100 accounting firms to commit. The AICPA has put together a toolkit (PDF) on how to get started with the pledge.
By signing the pledge, you'll demonstrate you're an organizational leader who agrees to implement the pledge within your workplace and support other companies in doing the same by:
- Continuing to make workplaces trusting places to have complex, and sometimes difficult, conversations about diversity and inclusion.
- Implementing and expanding unconscious bias education.
- Sharing best and unsuccessful practices.
- Creating and sharing strategic inclusion and diversity plans with your board of directors.
The CEO Action pledge was launched in 2017 and ramped up following an incident in September 2018 when Botham Jean, an African-American associate at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), was shot and killed in his Dallas home by an off-duty police officer. PwC was a founding signatory of the pledge, and Tim Ryan, the firm's U.S. chairman, responded to the tragedy with an email encouraging all employees to "take time to understand the experiences our underrepresented minorities — and especially, in this situation, our black colleagues — experience in everyday life so that we can all be better co-workers, friends and allies."
The CEO Action pledge is just one step in the Society's ongoing efforts to promote and grow diversity in the CPA profession in Virginia. In fact, this year the VSCPA Board of Directors has developed a Diversity & Inclusion Task Force to further examine how the Society can make an impact and engage members in this important dialogue. Stay tuned for more information and how you can get involved in our diversity efforts as they become available!