United States

Celebrating Global Diversity Awareness Month

ARTICLE  | 

It’s October! After making it through the uncertainties of an unprecedented summer, given the global pandemic and racial unrest, we’ve arrived at yet another fall season. There’s something special about October. Did you know that October is also Global Diversity Awareness Month? That’s right – Global Diversity Awareness Month arrives each October and, given our focus on diversity and inclusion here at RSM, we just could not let the month slip by without acknowledging the importance of inclusion, because it’s a great time to celebrate what makes us all unique.

At RSM, inclusion is at the core of who we are. We understand that diverse teams bring different ideas and perspectives to the table, often leading to innovative solutions that help our clients – and well as our people – succeed. 

In addition to having a dedicated team of CDI professionals focused exclusively on inclusion, we have a variety of efforts underway to ensure that RSM is an inclusive workplace and member of the community. Here are just a few of those:

  • Task Force for Racial Understanding -- RSM has an inclusion taskforce comprised of key members of our executive leadership team (including our CEO and COO). This group provides oversight and direction for the firm’s inclusion efforts.
  • RSM Fellows for Racial Equity – RSM has a six-fellow cohort, supporting health care, education, public safety and economic equity efforts as part of the CEO Action! for Racial Equity Fellowship program. This helps demonstrate our commitment to inclusion in the communities where our people live and work.
  • ENGs – Our CDI team is also supported by 11 employee-led network groups (ENGs), which provide opportunities for volunteerism, professional development, mentorship and networking for all of our 11,000+ people nationwide and in Canada. The ENGs bring together people with diverse experiences and similar interests, and offer unique ways for all of us to grow and learn, while celebrating all walks-of-life, genders, interests and backgrounds. Our leaders look to our ENGs for innovative insights to help enrich experiences for our clients and our people. More than half of our workforce belongs to at least one ENG.

In addition to our CDI team and our ENGs, we highlight a number of our inclusion efforts in our Resources for Racial Understanding and Inclusion. At RSM, each of our people is committed to doing his or her part to advance racial understanding and inclusion across the firm and within our communities. To support those activities, we share our internal resources with our clients and others who want to drive meaningful change and create an equitable future. Here are a few examples: 

  • Ally-ship – Being an ally is an important component of creating equity and understanding, and our Allies in Racial Understanding and Inclusion, which outlines steps individuals can take to be an ally, is available to all of our people, our clients and others.
  • Courageous Conversation - Our leaders engage in courageous conversations and encourage our people to do the same to push ourselves beyond what’s comfortable, and to really listen to one another’s perspectives to encourage empathy and inclusion. Our Courageous Conversation guide is available to internal and external friends to help them in their efforts.
  • ILEAD Skills – We provide educational resources to help one another learn about racism and to enable inclusive leadership and skill building.
  • Inclusion Across the Profession – We provide support for diverse professional organizations such as NABA, ALPFA, Ascend and the AICPA in their inclusion efforts.

The uncertainty in today’s world with the global pandemic, racial unrest and economic uncertainty makes it more important than ever for each of us – individuals and organizations – to do what we can to foster inclusion.  Global Diversity Awareness Month provides us with a great opportunity to share insights and ideas. We’d love to hear how you’re fostering inclusion in your community. You can share your approaches by: 

  • Commenting on our firm’s social media channels (Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter),
  • Emailing one of our national ENG leaders (You can find their addresses by selecting the clicking on the appropriate ENG page or our website.), and/or
  • Using the Contact Us feature here on our website. (You should select “Public Relations” from the drop-down menu there.) 

Let us hear from you!

Tracey Walker
National Director Government Affairs; Culture, Diversity and Inclusion