KPMG's CEO Reveals How to Be a Strong Diversity Leader

Even top-performing companies like KPMG, No. 22 in the 2012DiversityInc Top 50 and our 2011Top Company for Talent Pipeline, face challenges when generating buy-in on inclusion efforts from middle management. KPMG Chairman and CEO John Veihmeyer knows the pivotal role diversity has to his firm’s business operations and has personally invested himself to make sure all his decision makers are impassioned to reach those goals.


“When I came into this role, it was really important that we elevated the visibility of diversity as an objective force,” recalled Veihmeyer as he spoke with DiversityInc CEO Luke Visconti at a DiversityInc event. He discussed with Visconti why he believes equitable values are key to an inclusive workplace and how best to communicate those to the entire organization.

He noted that communicating the importance of diversity doesn’t stop with memos, emails and webcasts. “You will fall flat on your face,” he said.

Read:CEO Commitment: Why Visibility & Accountability Matter

Generating Buy-In

Veihmeyer had to convey KPMG‘s goals to all leaders of local business unitsa total of 150 peopleand connect with them on a daily basis. “If you aren’t passionate about this, then you can’t be in your leadership role, and we do have people who don’t respond the right way,” he said. He noted that all 22,000 employees might not yet buy in, but it is imperative to have his 150 local leaders on board.

“Diversity is not just a nice thing to do because we are all good people. It’s about trying to connect the dots and intellectually make the case for why we won’t grow as fast, be as profitable, have the best latent and achieve all of our objectives without inclusion,” he added.

Recruiting & Retention

Talent management is also high on KPMG’s agenda. Despite high unemployment rates, the firm globally is facing a talent shortage. It has shifted its thinking toward an environment of sponsorship.

Veihmeyer says this mentality is an active responsibility for career progression among employees. KPMG has a Leaders Engaging Leaders program in which participants take responsibility for at least two high potentials and are held accountable for their continued growth and resignations.

Community Connection

Additionally, KPMG encourages volunteerism and community outreach. Veihmeyer believes that there is a connection between how you treat employees and clients. “I think those drawn to caring about community and making a difference in the lives of people can look at clients from an empathetic standpoint,” he said. “It’s not just about generating a fee but finding solutions and getting to the next level.”

Latest News

Accenture Technology Vision 2020: From Tech-Clash to Trust, the Focus Must Be on People

Originally posted on Accenture.com To compete and succeed in a world where digital is everywhere, companies need a new focus on balancing “value” with “values,” aligning their drive to create business value with their customers’ and employees’ values and expectations, according to Accenture Technology Vision 2020. The 20th edition of Accenture’s…

AbbVie to Present at the SVB Leerink 9th Annual Global Healthcare Conference

Originally posted on AbbVie.com AbbVie, a research-based global biopharmaceutical company, will participate in the SVB Leerink 9th Annual Global Healthcare Conference on Tuesday, February 25.  Michael Severino, M.D., vice chairman and president and Robert A. Michael, executive vice president and chief financial officer, will present at 9:30 a.m. Central time. A live audio webcast…

AT&T Climate Resiliency Community Challenge

Originally posted on Att.com AT&T Supports Research at Five Universities to Assess Climate Risks and Help Boost Community Resilience  As part of our Climate Resiliency Community Challenge, five universities have been selected to conduct research that will help communities in the southeastern United States build resilience to climate change. Each academic…

BASF Logo

BASF Partners to Development of Innovative Power Storage Technology

Originally posted on BASF.com BASF and JenaBatteries Cooperate in the Development of Innovative Power Storage Technology  Batteries for stationary storage of electricity from renewable energy sources JenaBatteries with the world’s first commercially available technology of this kind BASF supplies electrolyte from an industrially available amine JenaBatteries GmbH and BASF are…

Boeing to Highlight Partnerships, Sustainability and Innovation at 2020 Singapore Airshow

Originally published on Boeing.mediaroom.com. Boeing [NYSE: BA] will highlight its broad range of commercial and defense products, services and technologies at the 2020 Singapore Airshow, which runs February 11-16 at the Changi Exhibition Centre. The company’s presence and activities at the show will underscore its commitment to safety, global partnerships,…