Implementing Workplace Diversity… Over Coffee: Kim Dukes Joins MSCPA D&I Breakfast Panel

By Joanna DiTrapano, Director of Marketing

img_8332This morning we had the pleasure of joining the Massachusetts Society of CPAs (MSCPA) at their Diversity and Inclusion Breakfast (the second in a series), taking place at the scenic Ernst & Young offices in Back Bay. The topic of the day was Four Steps to Implement Workplace Diversity, which are:

1) Providing sponsorship

2) Recruiting outside the box

3) Working with professional organizations, and

4) Starting a diversity and inclusion committee

…Needless to say, we were chomping at the bit to dive in.

The panel was set up more like a speed-dating session – two experts to a topic, with groups of participants moving from table to table to discuss the topic of their choice. Our own Kim Dukes, Senior Vice President of Direct Hire and Diversity Search, was taking the lead on “Recruiting outside the box”, along with the wonderful Sandra Richtermeyer, Dean of the Manning School of Business at UMass Lowell.

Amy Pitter (MSCPA), Kim Dukes (KNF&T) and Sandra Richtermeyer (UMass Lowell)

Amy Pitter (MSCPA), Kim Dukes (KNF&T) and Sandra Richtermeyer (UMass Lowell)

The room was booming as discussions took flight, and the expert insights were both eye-opening and tactical.

I heard about the value of joining various groups like the National Association of Black Accountants — the importance of make connections there, and helping with recruitment.

I also heard pointers on getting a diversity group set up at your firm. For instance, if you’re a small organization, identify the problem you’re trying to solve and then make presentations to the CEO on actionable changes. And, on the recruitment end, make sure everyone is comfortable by creating a safe space – remember, everyone needs to be supported differently.

The discussions had wide range and it’s safe to say we could have talked all day. But all good things must come to an end. Now it’s time to put this advice to work as we move toward making our workplaces more diverse and inclusive.

You can find the list of speakers below. We’re certainly looking forward to more events like this from the MSCPA!

  • Rich Caturano, CPA, CGMA – National Leader of Culture, Diversity and Inclusion, RSM
  • Ike Okonkwo – Boston Chapter President, National Association of Black Accountants (NABA)
  • Kim Dukes – Senior Vice President, Direct Hire and Diversity Search, KNF&T Staffing Resources
  • Sandra Richtermeyer – Dean of Manning School, UMass Lowell
  • Maria Paniagua- Associate Director of HR at EY
  • Paul Francisco – Managing Director – Head of Diversity Consulting and Sourcing Office & Workforce Development Programs, State Street
  • Soufiane Younoussi -Audit Manager, EY and Student Affairs Chair, National Association of Black Accountants (NABA)
  • Aditi Taylor – Principal/Partner, Deloitte