RSM Celebrates Women
DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION
March is Women’s History Month, which highlights each year the contributions of women to events in history and society. It is celebrated during March in the U.S., the United Kingdom, and Australia, corresponding with International Women's Day on March 8.
In the U.S., Women’s History Month traces its beginnings to the first International Women’s Day in 1911. In 1978, the school district of Sonoma, California participated in Women’s History Week, which was organized around the week of March 8 (International Women’s Day).
In February 1980, President Jimmy Carter issued a presidential proclamation declaring the week of March 8, 1980, as National Women’s History Week. The proclamation stated,” From the first settlers who came to our shores, from the first American Indian families who befriended them, men and women have worked together to build this nation. Too often, the women were unsung and sometimes their contributions went unnoticed. But the achievements, leadership, courage, strength and love of the women who build America was as vital as that of the men whose names we know so well.
It’s not doubt that women have made and continue to make significant contributions to the world, to our country to RSM and our middle market clients across the globe.
Women have had a role with RSM since the firm was founded in 1926. At that time, many worked as secretaries, receptionists and in other office administrative jobs that women were largely confined to in American business before the 1960s. Only a few were members of the firm’s professional staff, and even then, they worked mostly as bookkeepers or paraprofessionals. None were CPAs – until Diane McNulty came along.
Diane had earned a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from Drake University (where she was the only woman accounting major in her class) and worked in private accounting before joining RSM. When she received her CPA certificate in 1968, she was one of only five women in the state of Iowa to hold the certificate and license who worked in the profession. When Diane was made a partner in 1976, she was the first woman voted to be a partner in the firm’s history.
When asked about her trailblazing role in the history of the firm and the accounting profession, Diane is understated, simply stating, “I always tried to do my best job and do what I loved to do, and the fact that they continued to name women partners for the firm speaks for itself.”
Today, RSM has an unwavering focus on diversity and inclusion – for women and all of our 9,000+ people with our 11 employee-led employee network groups (ENGs) actively involved in keeping the importance of inclusion at the forefront of minds for all of our people. Our Stewardship. Teamwork. Advancement. Retention (STAR) ENG, which is currently 1,670 members strong, recognizes and supports women of RSM, connecting all employees interested in women’s work issues, to promote the retention and advancement of RSM women into leadership roles.
Dara Castle, managing partner, Washington metro offices, is the current leader of STAR, and says that the opportunities she’s had at RSM are possible not only as a result of her hard work, but due to the hard work of the women before her. “At RSM, we encourage all of our employees to bring their authentic selves to work,” said Castle. “Each of us, regardless of our gender, our ethnic origin, our religious beliefs, our age or any other defining factors, are recognized for our individual contributions to the success of our clients. Inclusion is part of our history here at RSM, and we’re delighted to be celebrating our women during National Women’s History Month.’
STAR advocates for women in the workplace with a focus on stewardship, teamwork, advancement and retention opportunities.