To our clients and neighbors,
Making Grant Thornton a more diverse, equitable and inclusive firm is not only a personal priority for me, but for everyone who calls Grant Thornton home. Following the killing of George Floyd, we knew we needed to do more to make our firm a better place to work for all our teammates and to be a positive force for justice in our communities.
We also knew that words would not be enough. We needed to take action. This is why we asked members of our African Americans and Allies Business Resource Group (AABRG), our internal group for African American teammates and allies, to recommend a set of strategic commitments and policy changes. Our commitments are the direct recommendations from the leaders, members and allies of the AABRG and they will help us remain intentional and effective so we can ensure lasting, meaningful change in our firm.
As a series of first steps, Grant Thornton is committed to the following actions:
- Be part of the change. As part of the GT Foundation’s annual contribution to worthy charities and non-profits, we are contributing $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.
- Make it easier for our people to be part of the change. Allot each of our people 40 hours of chargeable time annually to support our internal business resource groups (BRGs) and external community and charitable activities.
- Make our existing Unconscious Bias training mandatory and continue to incorporate Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I) focused sessions into firmwide conferences and onboarding for new hires.
- Apply our DE&I point of view to our firm’s political action committee (PAC) contributions as part of our evaluation process – aligning our contributions to those who represent our firm’s values.
- Seek ways we can support anti-discrimination and racial justice legislation through our Public Policy Group.
- As part of our signature cause program, Purple Paladins, ensure we select non-profits that support the needs of diverse populations. I encourage you to learn more about our newest Purple Paladin Tony Weaver, Jr., and his media non-profit, Weird Enough Productions.
- Expand the range of schools at which we recruit and update our experienced hire recruiting process to make sure we’re recognizing the value of diverse backgrounds in advancing equity. We will further these efforts through guidance from the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, as an extension of our relationship with them.
- Allowing our firm professionals time to reflect on Dr. King’s accomplishments and participate in civic activities by making Martin Luther King Jr. day a paid holiday each year.
- Share our broad, long-term strategic DE&I plan in the fall that will promote greater transparency and accountability in these areas.
Again, while these actions signal progress, we know it’s not enough. We are only at the start of our efforts to make our firm an even better place to work for all our teammates and to ensure we are positive force for justice in our communities. I will share additional updates in the coming months as we take measurable strides toward equity and inclusion within Grant Thornton and advancing our profession in a meaningful way.
I look forward to doing this work and sharing our progress with all of you.