After the tragic death of George Floyd there were coordinated protests around the world even though the event happened in the United States. This pushed a move for diversity and other social justice movements around the world.
The big 4 have already been on a push for more diversity even though they don’t seem to be able to achieve it. All you have to do is read the latest results from the big 4 accounting firms to find out. For example, Deloitte UK recently released their financial results, and they had a lot of social justice metrics in those results. They also had goals that they wanted to meet by this year that they did not meet. Well the fight for the big 4 to create diversity is still raging.
PwC is the latest big 4 to push a new diversity measure. They are doing this in the UK which is a different move since it is usually PwC US that is pushing diversity. Tim Ryan, the PwC US CEO, has a diversity measure where he tried to get CEO signatures to embrace diversity. There was no real action item out of that initiative. It was really for Tim Ryan to say that he embraced diversity and for him to put something on his resume. If he really wanted to embrace diversity, he’d step down and put a black person in his position. Of course he would never do that because he wants power and money.
He has someone below him that is ready to take over the reigns. That person is Roy Weathers. Roy Weathers is a black partner that is now heading a coalition of CEOs. This coalition of CEOs was created on October 5, and it was created to advance racial equity through public policy. This coalition is called the CEO Action for Racial Equity.
Now let’s move back to the news from the UK. The UK has an initiative to hire 10,000 black interns. This initiative actually has a website called 10000blackinterns.com. It was founded in August 2020. The program is supposed to start for interns in winter 2021 and summer 2022.
The initiative is primarily targeted at industries that haven’t historically done well with hiring black interns.
Mutliple UK organizations have signed onto the initiative including pwc. You don’t have to disclose how many interns you are going to hire right now. Right now they are basically just getting organizations to sign on. The details are still being worked out. The group was founded by black businessmen in the UK.
This is a great step in the right direction, but the big 4 still need to promote black business people and not just hire them.
Another issue with the program from a big 4 perspective, is that not everyone wants to be an accountant. You can’t force people to be accountants. If they want more black people and people in general to be accountants, they need to raise awareness about accounting.