Accenture: Update on Actions—We Stand Against Racism

Originally posted on Accenture LinkedIn

Below is a note that Jimmy Etheredge, our CEO of North America, and I sent today to Accenture people that reaffirms our unwavering commitment to equality and justice for all, with zero tolerance for racism, bigotry and hate of any kind. We provide an update on the commitments we made in June: announcing new goals in the United States, mandatory training to identify and speak up about racism, and community investments to help drive change.

To: All US People

In June, in the face of more tragic losses of Black lives as a consequence of racism, we reaffirmed Accenture’s unwavering commitment to equality and justice for all, zero tolerance for racism, bigotry and hate of any kind—and our stand against all violence.

We also announced three next steps to fight racism, create more opportunities for employment and advancement for our African American and Black and Hispanic American and Latinx communities, and become more inclusive and diverse. Racial injustice continues to impact our communities across the United States, which reinforces the importance of the actions we are taking.

Before we update you, on behalf of the North America Leadership Team and the Global Management Committee, we want to say thank you.

First, thank you to thousands of courageous colleagues who shared their experiences in Building Bridges sessions, listening sessions and focus groups. Your courage has allowed us to understand better what must be our path forward.

Second, thank you to the leaders of our African American and Hispanic American Employee Resource Groups, who have generously given their time to our entire leadership team and community, to help shape our initial actions and plans. They have done this while managing their own feelings and experiences, and while fulfilling their professional commitments during a time of global societal, health and economic crisis.

Finally, thanks to all who are supporting our colleagues and are standing against racism. This is what it means to be an ally. Coming together and pushing for more progress and an equal future is a testament to our culture and core values.

Our Goals to Create More Opportunities

We pledged to publicly announce goals by September 1 to increase the representation of African American and Black and Hispanic American and Latinx people overall and managing directors in the United States. By 2025 we will:

  • Increase the representation of African American and Black people from 9% to 12%; and the representation of Hispanic American and Latinx people from 9.5% to 13%—in each case, this is an approximate 60% increase in the number of our people.
  • More than double the number of our African American and Black and Hispanic American and Latinx managing directors. This will be an increase in the representation of African American and Black managing directors from 2.8% to 4.4% and of Hispanic American and Latinx managing directors from 3.5% to 4.7%.

Building on these US goals, we will announce targets to increase our ethnic representation in South Africa and in the UK by October 1 (the beginning of Black History Month in the UK).

To fulfill these goals, we are now working on a comprehensive plan, which includes recruiting, retention, staffing, sponsorship and advancement.

Recognizing Racism Training

We also pledged to put in place new mandatory training that will support our people in identifying and speaking up about racism. This training, available mid-September, will help us call out racism for what it is and address it wherever it happens.

Our Community Investments

Finally, we pledged to be a part of building a better future together with other companies, our federal, state and local government leaders, not-for-profits, and the people of our communities. We have moved quickly on a few fronts, but we have much to do to find the right opportunities with the most impact. Here are a few of the exciting investments we currently have planned, which leverage our unique strengths.

  • We have joined the Corporate Leadership Council of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, and established a partnership with the museum, led by Marty Rodgers. We will help amplify the museum’s exhibits and experiences for a global audience, with a heavy emphasis on digital, to increase awareness and understanding of African American life and contributions. As a first project, together we produced Why We March in celebration of the 57th anniversary of the historic March on Washington last week, and we encourage you to share this with clients, community partners, family and friends.
  • We are launching the Black Founders Development Program, led by Paul Daugherty and the Accenture Ventures team, to help Black entrepreneurs advance and grow their technology businesses through more direct access to venture capital, corporate mentorship and strategic connections with Accenture business partners and clients. As part of the new program, we are establishing the Black Founders Development Fund, with an initial commitment to invest $15 million.
  • To advance the mission of the newly launched New York Jobs CEO Council, Julie is co-chairing with the support of Jimmy and the Northeast Leadership Team. This joint initiative of two dozen leading companies and educational institutions is designed to transform job training, recruiting and hiring in New York City and provide increased opportunities for people in low-income and minority communities. The Council has committed to create 100,000 jobs by 2030.

We are building additional relationships with community partners to support economic inclusion and will share updates on our progress.

Thank you again for your support and your unwavering commitment to equality for all of our people. Together, we are acting, we are leading, and we will drive change—both here in the United States and across the globe.

Best Regards,

Julie and Jimmy


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