OKC VeloCity | Grant Thornton launches new commitments to bolster diversity, equity and inclusion

Grant Thornton launches new commitments to bolster diversity, equity and inclusion

By Staff Reports / PRESENTED BY Grant Thornton / Member News / December 21, 2020

Grant Thornton LLP has significantly increased its commitment to bolster its diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) 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 and recent measures include:

  • Grant Thornton has recently committed to make significant financial donations to a leading national organization that champions social justice and the advancement of human rights of all people and a leading national educational organization that exclusively represents Black College Community through scholarships, research initiatives and strategic partnerships.
  • Grant Thornton recently launched its first unified Inclusion Conference, centering around the theme of Intersectionality. This concept - describing how race, class, gender, and other individual identities “intersect” with one another – is key in understanding the various forms of inequality. The conference brought together 500 Grant Thornton employees and business resource group leaders to encourage collaboration and unification in the firm’s approach to DE&I.
  • 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 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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About Grant Thornton LLP

Founded in Chicago in 1924, Grant Thornton LLP (Grant Thornton) is the U.S. member firm of Grant Thornton International Ltd, one of the world’s leading organizations of independent audit, tax and advisory firms. Grant Thornton, which has revenues in excess of $1.9 billion and operates more than 50 offices, works with a broad range of dynamic publicly and privately held companies, government agencies, financial institutions, and civic and religious organizations.

“Grant Thornton” refers to Grant Thornton LLP, the U.S. member firm of Grant Thornton International Ltd (GTIL). GTIL and the member firms are not a worldwide partnership. Services are delivered by the member firms. GTIL and its member firms are not agents of, and do not obligate, one another and are not liable for one another’s acts or omissions. Please see grantthornton.com for further details.

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