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Podcast: The business case for diversity and inclusion

It’s Diversity and Inclusion Week on “Future-Proof.”

Why, on a podcast about future-proofing our businesses, are we talking about this stuff?

Frankly, because the future of our profession depends on it.

I know what you’re thinking: “A little dramatic isn’t it, Bill?”

Not at all. But don’t take my word for it. Our guest this week, Kim Drumgo, is the AICPA’s director of diversity and inclusion, and she has researched this more than just about anyone else.

In this conversation, we cover:

  • Why diversity and inclusion are not synonyms.
  • The role of “belonging” in the diversity-and-inclusion conversation.
  • How diversity and inclusion affect the bottom line.
  • What your organization can start and / or stop doing to foster diversity and inclusion.
  • How is the accounting and finance professional positioned right now?


Why focus on diversity and inclusion?

Two reasons, really.

First, there’s the right reason: Our profession should look like the public we serve, and a profession that invites the best thinking of everyone – regardless of race, religion, politics, gender, or any other differentiator – stands heads and shoulders above the rest. We are better united than we are apart.

Then, there’s also the bottom-line reason. In an article titled “6 Statistics That Will Convince You to Prioritize Diversity & Inclusion,” Melissa Suzuno makes a compelling business case:

  • Sixty-seven percent of job candidates want to join a diverse team.
  • Fifty-seven percent of your current employees want to prioritize diversity.
  • Inclusive companies enjoy 2.3 times higher cash flow than their competitors.
  • Diverse and inclusive companies are 35 percent more likely to outperform the least diverse ones.
  • Inclusive companies are 1.7 times more likely to be innovation leaders in their market.
  • Diverse companies are 70 percent more likely to report that their company has captured a new market.

In short, having a more diverse and inclusive workforce makes you a business force to be reckoned with.

So how does that play out in the accounting and finance world?

Let’s start with this: Research has indicated that more diverse and inclusive teams have a larger talent pool in which to find new talent. They use it as a recruitment tool for other top talent. They have access to a wider array of clients, which leads to more revenue. And they’re more innovative, because they have access to more ideas and deep thinking.

So there you have it: The business case for diversity and inclusion.

Want to help move diversity and inclusion forward?
If you are a finance or accounting professional in Maryland and you’re passionate about helping to move the diversity and inclusion needle, or even if you’re just interested in learning more, the MACPA is building a community around this important issue. We hope you’ll consider joining the conversation.

For more information, contact the MACPA’s chief operating officer, Jackie Brown, at jackie@macpa.org.

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