Throughout our nearly 100-year history, RSM has sought to increase diversity. In 2013, we enhanced our focus on inclusion by naming our first chief diversity officer, as well as a national CDI leader. And in 2014, we launched our employee-led ENGs.
Between April 2023 and April 2024, we’re celebrating 10 years of an unwavering focus on culture, diversity and inclusion at RSM. As a part of these efforts, we’ve educated thousands of people—inside and outside of our firm. Why? Because we understand that true inclusion extends beyond driving an unrivaled, inclusive culture here at RSM. While instilling confidence in a world of change begins with our people, we must share our knowledge, beliefs and values with those outside of our firm to affect positive change in our communities.
Below are a few of the ways we’ve evolved in our inclusion efforts over the past year:
2022 marked the ninth year of our annual CDI Leadership Summit, which helps drive progress in all of our CDI strategic priorities—employee engagement and productivity, organizational inclusiveness and inclusive leadership development. It also provides us with a great opportunity to reaffirm our commitment to creating an unrivaled, inclusive culture, while giving us an opportunity to give back to the community through the event’s charitable component.
One of the highlights of this annual summit is the announcement of our annual IMPACT awards, which recognize individuals for their actions, efforts and contributions to inclusion. 2022 IMPACT award winners were:
Innovation: Liz Kane, Learning design director
Management: Kelli Pfister, Revenue enablement manager
Persistence: Jeff Kim, Private client services manager
Attitude: Trey Ross, Assurance manager
Client focus: Amy Baker, Assurance senior manager
Talent focus: Cameron McMillan, Financial consulting director
Also presented was the CDI Impact Chairman's Award (selected by our chief diversity officer, Tracey Walker), which was presented to two deserving individuals this year: Paul Nockels, partner; and Karen Jong, partner.
Women currently make up half of the U.S. workforce, and a fundamental change in the workplace over the next decade will be the increasing role of women. Still, representation of women in senior leadership roles in American businesses remains low, with the proportion of women in management at 33.2%, according to a recent Bloomberg sample survey. If businesses are to thrive in an era of chronic labor shortages, they must attract, retain, recognize, advance and reward women.
One of the ways that RSM supports the advancement of our women is by hosting an annual Women’s Leadership Meeting, led by the national STAR ENG leader. This year’s meeting provided female leaders across the firm an opportunity to discuss the unique issues, challenges and opportunities facing women in the workplace, while enabling them to build relationships and learn from one another—as well as from internal and external speakers.
Nearly 200 of the firm’s female leaders left the meeting by committing to support one another in their unique journeys and to create a plan for change—not only for themselves but for the women coming up behind them.
Hear more about the importance of gender equity from some of our leaders in this brief video.
Our ENGs help build relationships, expand best practices and bridge the inclusion gap. While many of our people and clients are returning to offices, many will continue working remotely following the pandemic, making the need for connectivity, mentorship and space to connect more important than ever. That’s one reason we’re continuing our CDI mentorship program. The program piloted in 2020 with our STAR (Stewardship, Teamwork, Advancement and Retention of Women), AACE (African American and Canadian Excellence) and ¡HOLA! (Hispanic Organization for Leadership and Advancement) ENGs. In 2022, we made it available to all ENGs and enhanced our mentorship platform to create matches tailored to focus areas, ENGs, lines of business, service lines and more—another step to help retain and advance diverse professionals at RSM.
At RSM, we’ve introduced resources and guidelines for those who want to help drive meaningful change and create a more equitable future. We offer intercultural assessment and inclusion advisory services to our clients and communities, leveraging our deep experience to help organizations embrace differences among their people, which is key to sustained inclusive culture:
Our learning and professional development (LPD) team provides national training and professional development programs across the firm and has integrated CDI into our annual, national firmwide training program. LPD has also launched more specific CDI training sessions that raise awareness and enhance success by helping everyone understand the importance of cultural dexterity and diversity and to adopt inclusive behaviors. We also support clients with this training as they look for best practices in equity and inclusive behavior.
Another way we develop our people is through our ENGs. Examples include:
Finally, all of our 12 ENGs host diversity education and professional development events at the national, regional and local levels. Our managing partner & CEO and other senior leaders host and encourage attendance at these and other CDI events to help ensure widespread understanding and awareness.