Efforts developed in partnership with firm’s African Americans and Allies business resource group
Firm commits $600,000 in donations to two leading social-justice organizations
CHICAGO — Grant Thornton LLP has significantly increased its commitment to bolster its diversity, equity and inclusion efforts, while also being a positive force for justice in America’s communities. Its efforts include a half dozen new programs, complemented by meaningful financial donations to two leading social-justice organizations.
Grant Thornton developed its efforts alongside members of its African Americans and Allies business resource group — an internal group that promotes the recruitment, development, advancement and retention of Black teammates through collaboration with allies and firm leadership.
“Knowing that words would not be enough and that we needed to take action, we created a set of strategic commitments and policy changes,” said Brad Preber, CEO of Grant Thornton. “Our efforts represent the direct recommendations from our leaders and members of our African Americans and Allies business resource group. We developed them with a high level of transparency and accountability to ensure lasting, meaningful change in our firm, our communities and beyond.”
The new measures include:
- Grant Thornton is donating $600,000 total to two organizations: $300,000 apiece over three-year commitments to the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Thurgood Marshall College Fund.
- The firm is making it easier for its professionals to create change by allotting each of them 40 hours of chargeable time annually to support the firm’s business resource groups and participate in external community and charitable activities devoted to social causes.
- Grant Thornton is making its existing “unconscious bias training” mandatory and continuing to incorporate diversity, equity and inclusion sessions into firmwide conferences and onboarding programs for new hires. The “unconscious bias training” helps professionals recognize their prejudices and identify blind spots.
- The firm is enabling Grant Thornton’s political action committee to provide contributions in support of anti-discrimination and racial-justice legislation — aligning its contributions to those who represent the firm’s values.
- Through its Public Policy group, Grant Thornton is committing its support to legislation addressing discrimination and racial injustice.
- The firm has named a Black-run nonprofit, Weird Enough Productions, as part of its Purple Paladins program, which helps emerging nonprofit organizations move from start-up to sustainable. Moreover, Grant Thornton will look to select additional Purple Paladins that support the needs of diverse populations.
- The firm will expand the range of schools where it recruits students and update its experienced-hire recruiting process to recognize the value of diverse backgrounds in advancing equity. In addition, Grant Thornton will tap into its relationship with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund to further these efforts.
- The firm has added Martin Luther King Jr. Day as a paid holiday each year — allowing its professionals time to reflect on Dr. King’s accomplishments and participate in civic activities.
While Grant Thornton launched its commitments as part of this summer’s moment of national reckoning over racial justice, the firm sees them as part of an ongoing effort to make measurable strides toward equity and inclusion. To that end, the firm will soon be sharing its long-term diversity, equity and inclusion plan to support its broader diverse populations, which include Black professionals.
“This year has proven to be a galvanizing time for the nation — and for Grant Thornton,” said Rashada Whitehead, Grant Thornton’s head of culture, diversity, equity and inclusion. “With the guidance of our Black colleagues, we were able to turn tragedy into positive momentum by jump-starting a number of meaningful commitments, including our recent monetary donations. But our work is not done; we look forward to continually advancing diversity, equity and inclusion at Grant Thornton and in the communities we serve.”
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