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Accountants prioritize DEI initiatives
Running of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) initiatives in accountancy firms needs more activity, according to the latest report from iResearch Services (www.iresearchservices.com).
The report, A Fairer Future: Equality and Inclusion in Professional Services, canvasses the views of 570 leaders across the UK and the US in professional service firms, in sectors including accountancy (31%), consultancy (30%), law (22%), and architecture (17%).
It found that only 73% of accountancy firms surveyed have run a specific DEI initiative across their company in the past six months, in comparison to 86% of legal firms.
Accountancy firms are also lagging behind when it comes to measuring the success of their DEI programs. Only 73% of accountancy firms measure the success of their DEI initiatives compared to 84% of legal firms. However, the report found that accountancy firms remain more proactive at running initiatives and measuring their programs than other sectors in professional services, including architecture firms and consultancies.
Key findings from the report include: The research highlights how industry bodies within accounting are helping to drive positive attitudes around diversity and inclusion. An example of this is The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW), which collects diversity data from probate firms, and aims to extend this to all accountancy firms.
“The world of accountancy revolves around numbers, facts, and the right data. Accountancy firms are trusted business advisors to companies of all shapes and sizes across regulatory requirements, corporate governance, and financial reporting so it is surprising to see that this approach is not being carried across when it comes to measuring the success of internal DEI initiatives,” comments Rachael Kinsella, Editor in Chief at iResearch Services.
“Firms across all areas of professional services need to take a fresh look at how they are evaluating their diversity and inclusion programs. This will enable them to see whether the time, money and effort that goes into these initiatives are well spent, reflective of their workforce, and most importantly, if they are having a real positive impact on employees across all levels of the business.”
Other key findings from the report include nearly two thirds of professional services firms say that they support employees disclosing their disabilities (66%), but only 31% are running initiatives to support those with disabilities; whilst race/ethnicity draw the biggest focus when it comes to DEI across the professions (35%), with only 12% of firms focused on LGBTQ+ policies.
The full report can be found at www.iresearchservices.com/report/a-fairer-future-equity-and-inclusion-in-professional-services
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