In the week since I shared my message of inclusion, RSM has been focused on how we can create meaningful change around the issue of racism and inequality in our country. I have formed a task force to advance racial understanding and inclusion, we held an initial courageous conversation with our African American and Canadian Excellence (AACE) employee network group, and I have sought opportunities to get even more deeply involved with CEO Action for Diversity and Inclusion.
At RSM, we believe inclusion starts with “I.” In addition to listening and learning during the last week, I have personally done a lot of reflecting. What can I do to be more inclusive and actively anti-racist? What can RSM do? How can RSM have meaningful activity within our collective communities? There is no question we have to take action to create a more inclusive world. However, it’s easy to jump to quick action to feel like we are doing something—it’s much harder to create a plan to effect sustainable change. And I believe that things have to change for real this time.
Our brand is “the power of being understood,” so understanding is where we will begin. During the past week at RSM, we have seen RSM's workforce, leadership and employees from all walks of life united in efforts to be more inclusive and challenge us where we have opportunities to improve. Hundreds have joined our employee networks, engaged in courageous conversations and practiced being caring, curious, collaborative, courageous, critical thinkers.
We have also begun to enact our plans for sustainable change, including:
- Courageous conversations both nationally and in our offices:
We are equipping our leaders to hold courageous conversations with their teams to drive racial understanding beginning this week. In these forums we would like to hear employees’ creative ideas and effective solutions for how we can continue to drive sustainable change within our local communities.
On June 25, I will hold town hall where I will be joined by Dr. Stephanie Creary and a panel of employees to discuss issues of race and inclusion, bias, understanding and opportunity.
- RSM’s Day of Understanding:
On June 30, we will hold a national day of understanding to encourage employees to further discuss race and inclusion, share video messages and build skills to advance their understanding of race and inclusion.
- Giving of resources and time:
We will be providing additional funding and time to charitable organizations that support racial understanding based on a proposal from our AACE employee network group of where we can make the biggest difference in our extended communities, and we look forward to sharing those details soon. We will also continue to enhance our existing support of education, including our scholarships for diverse students, engagement with historically black colleges and universities, and volunteer activities, youth mentorship and financial support for pre-K through high school students in our local communities.
- Allies guide to racial understanding:
RSM has shared a ten point action plan with employees to assist allies who want to take anti-racism actions and practice the 5 C's of inclusion. The document invites membership in our employee network groups and offers recommended reading to build allyship skills.
We have provided a curated learning playlist to educate our people on issues of race, unconscious bias, managing bias, cultural dexterity and more.
- Support for other business leaders:
We will be publishing reading lists and resources for middle market leaders who want to join us in advancing matters of race and inclusion on the culture, diversity and inclusion section of our website.
This is where we will begin; however, there is no question that we must do more. Our task force will continue meeting regularly, we will learn from our town halls, and we will continue to evolve and build on our plans to create a more equitable future for all and drive meaningful change.