Deloitte commits $75 million to fuel greater racial and ethnic diversity in tax and accounting
July 19, 2021
Deloitte’s Making Accounting Diverse and Equitable (MADE) will lead the profession toward fundamental, long-term change
Deloitte announced June 2, 2021 the establishment of Making Accounting Diverse and Equitable (MADE), a commitment to generate more advisory, auditing, and tax career opportunities and leadership pathways for the next generation of certified public accountants (CPAs). MADE represents a bold vision for the accounting profession, both in terms of increasing racial and ethnic diversity, and helping students of color see and realize their future in business through the prism and possibilities of accounting.
“I couldn’t be more hopeful about the future of the accounting profession – racial and ethnic diversity is an essential part of that future,” said Lara Abrash, CEO of Deloitte’s US Audit & Assurance business. “Accounting is a fascinating career, providing strong job security, high income levels, and many avenues to leadership.”
No single act will help create the racial and ethnic parity that is essential to the profession, business, and society at large. MADE combines both financial support and the depth of resources an organization of Deloitte’s size can bring to attract diverse individuals into the accounting field and support them as they chart their pathway from high school to business professional to leadership in the profession. Deloitte is committed to a comprehensive strategy to address major barriers faced by racially and ethnically diverse students and to grow the population of diverse talent, thus helping to transform the future of the accounting profession.
“We are very excited about this next step in our path towards racial diversity,” said Thalia Smith, Audit & Assurance partner. “In order to address the disparity, conscious, and deliberate effort must be taken. We know that unless we tackle the underlying problems, the best of intentions will not get the profession to where it needs to be or position youth of color to be part of the next generation of business leaders. Deloitte is uniquely positioned and will be a leader in addressing this complex and transformative issue facing the profession.”
Included in Deloitte’s $75 million commitment is the Deloitte Foundation Accounting Scholars program. Over the next six years, Deloitte and the Deloitte Foundation expect to fund $30 million in scholarships to students pursuing a fifth-year master’s program in accounting from an accredited college/university program in the United States, in an effort to increase representation of racially and ethnically diverse students in these programs. Scholarships from the Deloitte Foundation will cover 100 percent of tuition at participating universities with a mutual desire to increase diversity in master’s programs, and, in turn, the accounting profession. Applications for the 2022 school year will be collected in the fall of 2021 by participating universities with scholarships granted in late 2021.
Steve Kimble, chair and CEO of Deloitte of Tax LLP added, “As leaders in the accounting profession, I believe it’s our responsibility to enable the change we want to see – in this case, taking concrete steps to create racial and ethnic diversity. I am optimistic about the impact this program will have on those pursuing a career in accounting and excited about creating pathways for the next generation of diverse business leaders.”
“At Deloitte, we know that teams made up of diverse, inclusive professionals are more powerful, innovative, and productive,” said Joe Ucuzoglu, CEO, Deloitte US. “We’re thrilled to make this contribution to help foster diversity in future generations of accounting professionals and ensure those from all backgrounds thrive in this profession we care so deeply about.”
The remaining $45 million of the strategy includes the following key elements:
- Stride CPA readiness program: Deloitte seeks to address barriers faced by professionals recruited through various schools or organizations when taking the CPA exam by supporting their preparation with real-time access to and instruction from experienced CPA tutors, providing up to 13-weeks of fully-paid time, the majority of which is dedicated to studying, and covering exam costs. The inaugural Stride CPA readiness program will unfold this summer for a cohort of the Fall 2021 starting class.
- Deloitte Academy: Accounting Edition program: Deloitte is committed to inspiring and preparing youth for long-term success by collaborating with high schools, colleges, state CPA societies, and various non-profits to bring accounting to life for thousands of historically underrepresented and underserved youth across the country.
- Historically Black colleges and universities (HBCU)/Hispanic-serving institutions (HSI) strategy: Building upon Deloitte’s existing relationships with HBCUs and HSIs, Deloitte and the Deloitte Foundation will support faculty and administration with additional funding for curriculum development focused on the evolving skillsets needed by accountants.
- Climb Fellowship program: Deloitte recognizes that Black and Hispanic/Latinx professionals experience different challenges as they progress within their careers. With the goal of developing the next generation of accounting and business leaders, Deloitte is collaborating with academia to launch a fellowship program targeted at bringing mid-career accounting professionals across industries together to create a community and help position them for senior roles within their organizations.
- MADE working group: Racially and ethnically diverse business, academic, and community leaders bring a vast array of experiences and individual passions to advance equity and inclusion. Deloitte has formed a working group of these individuals to bring leading external perspectives, challenge our thinking, and create a forum to engage with one another.
While these efforts specifically focus on the broader accounting profession, they complement and build on Deloitte’s already stated goal of increasing the number of Black and Hispanic/Latinx professionals in its overall US workforce by 50 percent by 2025.