Standing Together Against Racial Injustice
While in recent months we have focused on issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic, another crisis – the crisis of racial injustice – requires our attention. The events related to this crisis have emanated throughout the U.S. and to other countries worldwide, so we believe it is appropriate to share with you our position, our actions, and how our values guide our actions.
George Floyd. Breonna Taylor. Ahmaud Arbery. The horrific events surrounding their recent deaths, and many others, have once again put a painful but much needed spotlight on inequality, racism, bias, discrimination in criminal justice, and disparities in economic opportunity and education. Racial injustice and violence have no place in our society or in our company. Together we stand with the Black community in condemning such hatred and seeking resolution, reform, and real change.
Three years ago, our CEO signed the pledge for CEO Action for Diversity and Inclusion, joining many other leaders resolved to address the sweeping impact of racism and inequality. In the past few weeks, communications and knowledge-sharing activity have intensified among the leaders in this network, and we find value and hope in our shared commitment to progress.
Further, we have turned to Protiviti’s values. Integrity empowers us to do the right thing and be transparent; Inclusion provides us with different perspectives and moves us forward together; and Innovation enables us to embrace change and not settle for the status quo. In communicating with our Protiviti team, we have encouraged our employees to hear the stories of their colleagues, seek to understand our differing experiences, and use what we learn to be compassionate and act meaningfully, guided as always by our shared values.
Our focus at Protiviti is a long-term commitment for enduring change, even when this progress requires us to be uncomfortable. Meaningful actions require the rich teamwork that is a hallmark of our firm, building on the inertia we are now seeing. The social and racial injustice that we are all witnessing will take time to resolve, but we stand committed to taking focused action to support this transformation.
Actions to Drive Change
We recognize that there is a lot to do and below are the initial actions we commit to as a firm to advance our focus on racial injustice and initiate change.
Action 1: Establish an open dialogue with our people, our clients, and the broader community. Our communications will be frequent, strengthen transparency, promote our actions externally, and expand forums and platforms for diverse voices to speak and be heard. This will also facilitate the ongoing evolution of our action plan as we continue to listen and learn.
Action 2: Educate our firm on racism, bias, and discrimination. We will assess required training content as well as expanded crowdsourced learning and microlearning opportunities, curated thought leadership, and support from external partners and vendors.
Action 3: Assign leadership to sponsor our commitment to racial and ethnic diversity and inclusion. Every leader in our firm is accountable for helping to sponsor the actions we have identified and the changes we seek. We are also expanding our Multicultural Employee Network Group’s scope and agenda and have requested that they provide our Executive Team with advice, perspective, and leadership on racial equity issues and opportunities inside and outside the firm.
Action 4: Strengthen our impact within our communities. We are deepening our relationship with the National Urban League (NUL), maximizing individual donations through matching gifts, and exploring ways to expand iCare, our philanthropic program, to focus more directly on anti-racism and social justice causes. We will explore ways to bridge career and employment opportunity gaps with members and alumni of the National Association of Black Accountants (NABA) and National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), increase our focus on recruiting at historically Black colleges and other racially diverse universities. and develop a minority sponsorship initiative. Additionally, we will be looking to partner with other organizations outside the United States.
Action 5: Drive greater racial and ethnic diversity at all levels, including but not limited to our leadership levels, through a focus on metrics and process. We will develop, communicate, and focus on goals and metrics that hold us accountable and measure the desired change within our organization.
We invite all our clients and communities to join us in our efforts and contact us to learn more. We also are open to hearing from those outside our organization and learning from their efforts. Standing together, we can all build organizations – and a society – of which we are all proud.