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OSCPA first CPA society to sign CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion pledge

Written on Jun 12, 2019

By Abigail Draper, OSCPA communication & engagement manager

DI logoThe Ohio Society of CPAs earlier this year became the first CPA society to sign the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion pledge, the largest CEO-driven business commitment to advance diversity and inclusion within the workplace.

“We support diversity and inclusion not only because it's the right thing to do,” said OSCPA President and CEO Scott Wiley, CAE, “but also because it's scientifically proven that a diverse group of employees leads to better collaboration and problem-solving.”

CEO Action was created by leaders from Deloitte US, EY, KPMG, PwC, Accenture, BCG, The Executive Leadership Council, General Atlantic, New York Life and P&G. It began when more than 150 CEOs from leading companies signed the pledge and has grown to almost 700 signatories.

Already this year OSCPA has completed several initiatives to promote diversity and inclusion in the accounting profession and throughout the business world, including:

  1. Sending representatives to the US Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Inclusion Incorporated Regional Forum on LGBTQ equity.
  2. Publicly backing Ohio Senate Bill 11 which would prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity in the workplace.
  3. Participating in Historically Black College and University (HBCU) career fair at Central State University for the first time.
  4. Participating in a career services initiative with the Office of Cooperative Education at the nation’s oldest private HBCU, Wilberforce University, for the first time.
  5. Participating in two Columbus City Schools HBCU college and career fairs, both of which were at minority-serving schools. We are pleased to host several students at this year’s Accounting Careers Awareness Program ACAP-OH.
  6. Participating in a Howard University (HBCU) research study about the barriers and challenges experienced by African American CPAs, led by Frank Ross
  7. Supporting the Women’s Fund of Central Ohio’s Keyholder event as a partnering investor.
  8. Hosting two internal staff D&I trainings (one in collaboration with The Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race & Ethnicity at The Ohio State University)
  9. Attending the 17th Annual HBCU Business Deans Roundtable to strengthen our relationship with Ohio’s two HBCUs, Central State and Wilberforce
  10. Signing on as an adopter of The Columbus Commitment, a voluntary, employer-led initiative to close the gender wage gap in Columbus

Additionally, OSCPA Diversity & Inclusion Manager Sierra Austin, Ph.D., was a speaker at Central State University’s 24th Annual Communication Week, where she spoke about the Society’s D&I strategy.

The efforts will continue. For example, in September, OSCPA is partnering with Fisher College of Business to take minority students from OSU and other Ohio colleges and universities to the 2019 NABA Central Region Student Conference. Austin said Society staff will continue looking for opportunities like these to encourage diversity and inclusion in the CPA profession and across the state.

“We’ve come a long way, but still have more strides to make,” she said. “I’m very excited to see how we progress from here.”

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