Leadership Lessons: Diversity and Inclusion in Accountancy
A firm that really embraces diversity and inclusion is likely to be a firm where every single current and prospective employee feels like they would belong and be embraced into your team, regardless of the way they look, who they choose to love, worship etc etc.
And we know that many leading accountancy firms are working tirelessly to improve their diversity and inclusion.
But as you’ll know (as a brilliant accountant) ploughing money and energy into something without measuring the effectiveness of that investment can be a serious mistake.
So here’s our advice on how to measure the effectiveness of your diversity and inclusion efforts and identify a potential problem.
The best way to get a feel for how well your firm is performing and how inclusive they truly are is to ask the people within and around it. Send an anonymous staff survey to your existing teams every six months or so and ask them whether they feel like they truly belong in your teams.
And use every opportunity to capture feedback from those who don’t make it into your teams or who are choosing to no longer be a part of them. So follow up with interview candidates on whether they felt your recruitment process was inclusive and make sure staff who are leaving for pastures new are given a full exit interview with specific questions about how they felt about diversity within your firm.
Consider your workforce. Take the time to note the ratio of different ethnicities, sexualities, level of physical ability and gender. Analyse pay across your various roles. Do they look fair and consistent? Are there any glaring inequities? If so, why might that be and what more can you do to bridge the gap.
Take a look at your firm’s strategy and the work it’s doing to increase client lists, improve profits and provide enhanced customer service. Who knows about up and coming decisions and changes? Who is leading on them and who has had the authentic opportunity to influence and feed back on them?
A diverse and inclusive workforce, more often than not, is a transparent one. It’s one where the opinions of the whole really matter and are actively sought. It’s one where projects are created from the bottom up and not the top down and where everyone gets the opportunity to say ‘but have you thought about how that might affect people like me?’
A diverse firm is a strong firm. It’s likely to be a future-proof firm and it’s one that leading teams in accountancy will be striving to create. If you take the steps listed above and identify that the efforts that you’ve been making to improve your firm’s inclusivity don’t seem to be paying off, then it’s time to rethink things. And what better way to make a new plan than by inviting a diverse group of your staff to feedback on where they think the problems might be and what they think might help?
At Public Practice Recruitment Ltd we’re proud to be valuing diversity and inclusion above all else in our modern working practices. We’re delighted to represent a hugely varied network of job searching candidates and we know from what many of them have told us, that not all firms are offering a fair and inclusive recruitment process which has been a real turn off when it comes to accepting job offers.
In a candidate driven market you want to be absolutely sure that your firm is ready to make the offer that no accountant can refuse and you must make time to ensure your staff feel like they do or could belong from the very moment they see your advert.
To work with a niche recruiter who will support you to be just that employer, reach out for a no obligation chat today. We’ll be excited to take your call and can’t wait to support you to become one of the top employers in our busy sector.