PwC’s commitment to diversity has been essential to the firm’s success, according to US chairman and senior partner Bob Moritz, who next week will host a live webcast discussing the importance of speaking openly about race.
Moritz will be speaking with Mellody Hobson, whose TED Talk “Color Blind or Color Brave” has been viewed more than 1.3 million times and makes the case that speaking openly about race and particularly about diversity in hiring makes for better businesses and a better society.
“Race in America makes people completely uncomfortable,” Hobson says in her talk. “Bringing it up is like the conversational equivalent of touching the third rail.”
Hobson, one of TIME magazine’s “100 Most Influential People” in 2015, is president of Ariel Investments, one of the largest African-American-owned money management firms in the United States. She is speaking at PwC, which is the top-ranked Big Four firm on the DiversityInc Top 50, moving up to No. 3 in 2015. The firm has been in the top five for seven of the past eight years.
“The first step towards action is awareness,” said Hobson. “So I’m here to talk about what I’ve seen, and what I’ve lived, with the hope that we can all feel a little less anxious and a little more bold when it comes to conversations about race.”
PwC’s Moritz will interview Hobson to hear what prompted her to do the TED Talk, and why conversations on the topic of race benefit people personally, professionally and for society as a whole.
“We can do something or we can do nothing,” according to Moritz. “What I believe is we can make a difference by taking this one conversation and one person at a time.”
“It’s time for us to be comfortable with the uncomfortable conversation about race,” Hobson says in her talk. “If we truly believe in equal rights and equal opportunity in America, we need to have real conversations about this issue. We can’t be color blind, we have to be color brave.”
PwC is inviting the public to watch the free live webcast on Monday, July 13, at 2 p.m. ET. The webcast will be available at:https://event.webcasts.com/starthere.jspei=1066295.