Diversity Leadership: Kathy Hopinkah Hannan, KPMG

Kathy Hannan, KPMGKathy Hopinkah Hannan
National Managing Partner,
Diversity and Corporate Responsibility

As a woman and a member of the Ho-Chunk Nation, Kathy Hopinkah Hannan has shattered her share of glass ceilings during a career in the traditionally male-dominated field of accounting. With firsthand knowledge of what it takes to succeed professionally, she is a strong advocate for mentorship as a means of employee engagement and fostering diversity and inclusion.

A good mentorship “creates a framework that encourages and facilitates relationship-building and trust,” Hannan told DiversityInc during an event presentation. “[At KPMG,] we require our leaders to mentor people like them and unlike them. Diversity is not about being different. It’s about being dynamic … and understanding the broader perspectives out there,” she said.

Under Hannan’s watch, all of the firm’s managers participate in cross-cultural mentoring programs that are evaluated annually. She chairs the company’s Corporate Citizenship Steering Committee, co-chairs its Diversity Advisory Board and was instrumental in founding KPMG’s Network of Women in 2003. She joined the firm in 1985 and became Partner in 1994. In 2004, Hannan was named the firm’s first female Managing Partner for KPMG in the Midwest.

Hannan received her bachelor’s degree in accounting from Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa, in 1983. She is a regent of her alma mater and a member of the board of advisors of Catalyst. Hannan has been given the Anti-Defamation League’s Woman of Achievement award and been named Woman CPA of the Year by the American Woman’s Society of Certified Public Accountants. She lives in suburban Chicago with her family.