AAFCPAs team members are encouraged to bring all of who they are to all of what they do, and to understand, accept, and value the differences between us. We are a recognized leader among CPA firms for our successful commitment to diversity, inclusion, and equity. Some of our ongoing actions include:
- Diversity and Inclusion Pledge. AAFCPAs’ Leadership is committed to a diverse, inclusive, and equitable workplace. In June 2020, AAFCPAs’ Managing Partner issued an open letter titled “Black Lives Matter” in recognition of the dire need for change. In 2019, AAFCPAs’ Leadership pledged their commitment to advance diversity and inclusion by signing on with CEO Action, a national initiative to ACT ON supporting a more inclusive workplace. This included documenting and executing on a specific set of actions to cultivate a trusting environment where all ideas are welcomed,and employees feel comfortable and empowered to discuss diversity and inclusion.
- Diversity & Inclusion Committee. In 2017, AAFCPAs formed a council of diverse team members, including senior leaders, to help create strategic accountability for results, provide governance and oversight on diversity efforts, and promote company-wide communication on progress. Their charter is to ensure alignment with the firm’s overall business strategy and to help institutionalize human capital practices that support and accelerate D&I goals. Our efforts go beyond multicultural awareness and training, and include specific goals, programs, and best practices for sustainable and meaningful change. The committee introduced a monthly Lunch and Learn Speaker Series featuring discussions on Pronoun Guidance and the LGBTQIA community, which influenced the firm’s decision to eliminate prefixes and pronoun specifics in firm correspondence. AAFCPAs further explored race and gender issues with a guest lecture presented by Dr. Daren Graves, Associate Professor of Education and Social Work at Simmons College and Adjunct Lecturer of Education at Harvard Graduate School of Education.
- Recruitment of Diverse Talent. AAFCPAs’ talent acquisition strategies are designed to attract diverse candidates. We focus our efforts on recruiting exceptional individuals from schools with diversity & inclusion initiatives, including historically black colleges and universities. We are active participants with the National Association of Black Accountants, Inc. (NABA) and the Association of Latino Professionals for America (ALPFA).
- 100% Firm Participation in Unconscious Bias Training. All AAFCPAs team members participate in innovative, implementation-focused Unconscious Bias awareness training. We believe that talking and training alone will not bring about change. Therefore, all team members have committed to be aware of their conscious and unconscious biases and change practices and processes as appropriate. Additionally, a Diversity & Inclusion discussion is part of each and every new hire on-boarding.
- Leveraging Individual Strengths. In 2020, AAFCPAs implemented TypeCoach training to best optimize our teams’ abilities to communicate and work most effectively with different personality types. Our team members have embraced TypeCoach training and have expressed greater comfort and confidence with interpersonal interactions.
- Strong Female Leadership. Carla McCall, CPA, CGMA, managing partner, has been recognized often in Boston’s business community, as well as nationally as a recipient of Accounting Today’s 2020 Managing Partner Elite list, the 2018 Outstanding Women in Business, the 2017 “Forty Women over 40 to Watch” list, and the 2016 ATHENA Leadership Award. She sets an important “tone at the top,” and is honored to pave the way for future underrepresented leaders at AAFCPAs.
- AAFCPAs has a thriving Women’s Opportunity Network (WON). This Network, established in 2011, is a forum to understand the issues faced by women in the CPA profession. AAFCPAs’ WON is committed to sharing conversations and developing creative ways to help women succeed in finding that magic balance between home life, family, and career. This commitment is working. 56.7% of AAFCPAs’ current senior leadership team are women. In 2011, that percentage was only 16%. This demonstrates our firm’s genuine commitment to retaining women at the management level.
Diversity and inclusiveness are strategically aligned with AAFCPAs’ business goals. Diversity of thought has been shown to boost creativity and innovation, which is great for AAFCPAs and the clients we serve.
We are pleased with our effort and achievements but consider it a work in progress and will not be satisfied until our organization accurately reflects the diversity of the global workforce and the communities we serve. We are determined to reach this goal!
“When we feel a sense of belonging it is not because we are the same as everyone else, but because we have been accepted as we are.” – Unknown