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What does diversity and inclusion mean in accounting?

Today's world has a strong push for diversity and inclusion in the workforce. But what does that mean for the accounting industry? Equal opportunity laws, social focus on company makeup, working remotely and similar aspects are all converging to make access to work easier than ever. Recently, the outgoing Chairman of the AICPA, Kimberly Ellison-Taylor, made a statement with regards to whether the accounting industry has reached this lofty goal.

In her discussion, she mentions that one of the biggest challenges remaining in accounting as well as many other professions is to attract, retain and advance the best, brightest talents regardless of demographic. A Baltimore native, Ms. Ellison-Taylor wasn't afraid to own up to mistakes she's made, lessons she's learned or disappointments she's faced in her journey to become the first person of color serving as the AICPA chair, though she entered the position prepared to talk about member value, advocacy, volunteering in state societies and audit, tax and advisory service initiatives.

She felt that the rapid pace of progress due to technology required that inclusion and diversity remain a central focus. She felt especially that diversity is the easier goal to achieve, because it uses categories to determine whether the goal has been met. Inclusion, on the other hand, is more subjective, based on the experiences and biases of every person in that business. That makes true inclusion a more difficult goal to reach.

However, technology and the next generation of business leaders are expected to drive these initiatives home. As an example, technology allows brilliant writers like Jon Morrow to equally participate in the market. Unless you've had the opportunity to meet Mr. Morrow in person, you'd have no reason to suspect that he's also quadriplegic. This puts no limit on his brilliant mind. New generations who value inclusion will, like Mr. Morrow, expect no less in their careers.

Though diversity in accounting isn't quite there yet, we're much closer than we have been in the past. By continuing to work together to reach true equality in educational opportunities and inclusion in the workforce for all people, we can reach this lofty goal together. Ready to work with some fabulous people to take your accounting or businesses practices to the next level based on ability? AccountRely can help. Please reach out today to get started.

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