PrimeGlobal is committed to Diversity & Inclusion

PrimeGlobal News
June 1, 2022


PrimeGlobal is passionate about Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and our 2021 International Accounting Bulletin (IAB) award reinforces our commitment to advancing diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives and best practices throughout PrimeGlobal and our member firms, and cements the success of our work in this area. In this article, we explore in more detail our 'Talent-Diversity Equity and Inclusion' (DEI) initiative for which we were honored to receive this award.

The PrimeGlobal 'Talent-Diversity Equity and Inclusion' (DEI) initiative was identified based on feedback received from our member firms and anticipating need.

Our members desire a more inclusive workplace that provides the same opportunities for the entire team, no matter their ethnicity, skin color, gender, or religion, and they seek education, thought leadership, expertise, and networking to help them achieve this.  

A committee of PrimeGlobal staff and member firm volunteers was therefore established with the goal being to infuse DEI conversations and insights into the fabric of the PrimeGlobal's and our member firms’ strategies. For a holistic talent strategy, goal setting, and programming, objectives were set for recruiting, learning and development, succession planning, performance management, and engagement. 


Initiatives and Actions 

As part of this work, we promoted and set in motion a wide range of actions, initiatives and projects, including:

  • A call-to-action challenge for PrimeGlobal Managing Partners/CEOs to sign the CEO Act!on Pledge supporting a more inclusive workplace for employees, communities, and the wider society. 
  • The global expansion of the Women’s Leadership Special Interest Group.
  • Three global DEI panel discussions, including both member firms and industry partners. These discussions were hosted by PrimeGlobal Executive Directors, members of the leadership team at Thomson Reuters, the President/CEO of the National Association of Black Accountants (NABA), Guylaine Saint Juste, and the CEO of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountant (ACCA), Helen Brand. These well-orchestrated, interactive sessions focused first on education, including definition, unconscious bias, and strategies to address these issues. From these discussions, we gathered evidence of DEI concerns in member firms. The panel discussions also highlighted why DEI strategies are critical for firms to develop, how to overcome challenges, and the importance of providing practical guidance to implement the strategies and to share success stories.
  • We held our first DEI conference virtually in June 2021. This two-day event provided data on the firms’ DEI progress through polling questions, which were informed by the panel discussions above. In addition, an exclusive DEI app was also developed for the conference, which provided a forum for members to share their experience and observations. The event captured the members' strong desire to develop a roadmap for the DEI journey and ultimate success and integration. Resources related to the event were also made available after the event to help reach as many members as possible with the content.
  • Administration of a survey co-created and administered by Thomson Reuters and ourselves. This survey, titled Pandemic Nation unpacked the members' observations of under-represented groups during COVID and the efforts to include professionals from diverse backgrounds in a hybrid workplace. The results and survey report were published in September 2021.
  • A six-part virtual webinar series; 'Roadmap to a Diverse, Equitable and Inclusive Firm' was created. These webinars address all issues of the DEI initiatives from selection and hiring, pay equity, promotion equity and opportunity inclusiveness. Expert educators and presenters provided the instruction, including firm partners who invested in DEI initiatives at an early stage and willingly shared what they’ve learned, as well as consultants our firms are using. 
  • A resource library of DEI consultants and companies has been established and is available to firms. This collection of experts offers training including DEI strategy and goals, culture surveys, defining common language and multi-cultural awareness program.

The DEI campaign quickly developed to include a social media campaign, webinars, and thought leadership content provided by member firms and outside stakeholder strategic partners, including Thomson Reuters, ACCA, American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), Wolter Kluwer, Becker, and Xero.


Achievements and Results 

  • Our articles have been published in IAB and Inside Public Accounting on DEI initiatives and our member firms' implementation strategies. Dozens of published thought leadership articles on DEI continue to be shared.
  • There were 200+ virtual attendees at our 2021 DEI Conference.
  • An important part of the DEI initiative was expanding the Women’s Leadership Community of Practice to all four PrimeGlobal regions, and this has an increased participation by 200%.
  • Many of our firms' recruiters are now seeking alternative candidate sources that offer more diverse hiring prospects. This includes previously overlooked opportunities at NABA, Association of Latino Professionals for America (ALPFA), National Association of Asian American Professionals (NAAAP), traditional all-female institutions, people with disabilities, and non-accounting degreed graduates.
  • We connected Roseann Heavey, who is a Partner at PrimeGlobal member firm Noone Casey in Ireland, Chair of EMEA Women’s Leadership group and who has a Master’s degree in neuro-diverse hiring and cognitive diverse employees, with Strategic Partner Xero. They worked together to create a thinktank of ideas used throughout this initiative.  
  • We partnered with Thomson Reuters to address DEI in the accounting profession, hosting global events and providing member firms with valuable resources; particularly, challenging them to increase the percentage of female leaders within their firms.
  • Discoveries from the our joint Pandemic Nation survey were highlighted throughout a 6-month roadmap series intended for entire firm participation. This roadmap takes our firms through step-by-step processes, learning from colleagues who are already mature in the DEI journey, including member firms from Ireland, United States, Mexico and India. The survey findings support the task force efforts emphasizing the importance of CEO’s/Managing Partners as firm champions, building DEI into strategy, holding executive team and partners accountable for DEI outcomes, mitigating implicit bias embedded in talent management, and the essential pivot from diversity training to leadership development coaching.
  • Discussion agendas for virtual events from the partner level to the HR and Talent Development roundtables are now organized to include a talent portion where DEI initiatives and actions are shared.
  • Our member firms are training managers to personalize interactions with their teams, to create psychological safety, and make equitable decisions regarding the processes they control including pay, performance measurement, promotions, and work assignment. 
  • Over one third of our North America firms have a Diversity Recruiting Plan.
  • We are measuring the success and advancement of DEI in member firms by surveying and tracking attendance at DEI events. Similar polling questions are asked through-out the events to gauge progress.

Conclusion

There is broad agreement that diverse and inclusive workplaces are environments that value all employees' contributions and reflect the demographic characteristics of the workforce. PrimeGlobal has a commitment to make workplaces safe to have complex, and sometimes difficult, conversations about diversity and inclusion, while implementing and expanding education, improving workplace culture, employee experience, and instilling leadership behaviors proven to deliver market-leading revenue and innovation.