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Building More Diverse and Inclusive Workplaces

Originally published on info.kpmg.us by Candace Rivera.

Over the past several years, corporate business resource groups – employee-led groups of volunteers who work together to strengthen inclusion and diversity – have evolved from networking groups to proactive enablers which support an organization’s business strategy and talent management agendas.

It’s an evolution that has certainly taken place within KPMG.

Since their inception, KPMG’s business resource groups (BRGs) have been a critical resource to the firm with respect to talent management, connecting to the marketplace and advancing diversity and inclusion.

National BRG Leaders’ Conference

Earlier this month, an audience of 254 professionals gathered in Orlando for the National BRG Leaders’ Conference, representing local BRG chapters from 53 offices across the country. They were chosen to participate by their office managing partners because of their dedication to creating an inclusive and diverse workplace, and the impact they have had within their local BRG.

Consistent with the theme of the conference – Connect. Align. Collaborate. – the conference offered numerous opportunities to network with colleagues and share what’s worked well within their BRG.

Among the panel discussions, KPMG leaders Chief Financial Officer David Turner; National Managing Partner, Audit, Jackie Daylor; National Managing Partner, Tax, Will Williams; and National Managing Partner, Advisory, Tracy Benard joined Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer Michele Meyer-Shipp onstage to discuss the importance of BRGs and the value they bring to KPMG’s culture and strategy. Turner encouraged the crowd to “learn from each other and create movement.”


KPMG Business Resource Groups

KPMG has seven national BRGs, including an African American Network, Abilities in Motion Network, Asian Pacific Islander Network, Hispanic Latino Network, KPMG Network of Women, pride@kpmg and Veterans Network.

Nearly half (45%) of KPMG’s partners and employees are members of one or more BRGs  These groups are open to everyone and provide meaningful opportunities to develop cross-business relationships, career-enriching experiences through professional and leadership development programs, engagement with client peer groups for external networking, as well as community involvement.

One in five BRG members (21%) identify as allies – An ally is an active advocate who plays a critical role in ensuring an inclusive workplace – they may be a friend, supporter, or collaborator and extends to all BRGs.


Best Practices

These behaviors are not limited to an organization’s leadership nor are they limited to those who volunteer with a BRG. Here are a few tips from KPMG’s national inclusion and diversity team on how every employee can be more inclusive every day:

1) Intentionally seek out ideas/insights from people who may not look like you.

2) Engage with people of different levels and backgrounds.

3) Challenge assumptions – don’t assume anything, ask questions.

4) Demonstrate you are an ally through a visible signal at your desk (e.g., “I am an ally” sign or Pride flag).

5) Ensure important meetings or social events don’t conflict with religious holidays/observances.

6) Be sure ideas are attributed to the correct individual(s).

7) In meetings, implement a “no interruption” rule to ensure everyone is being heard, and call on those who are not speaking up.

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