I am deeply saddened by the death of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and all of the injustices that have occurred before them.
Windham Brannon stands in solidarity against injustice, racism, and discrimination. To build on our public statement last week, we are sharing a few of the actionable items we are taking within our firm to root out racism in our policies and practices and work toward equity.
- CEO Action Pledge.
As leaders, we must start with ourselves. Last year, Windham Brannon signed the CEO Action Pledge for Diversity and Inclusion. This Pledge signified our commitment to advancing diversity and inclusion within our firm and recognizing that change starts at the executive level. We are actively utilizing the conversations and resources this group provides. We will be discussing as leaders how we model anti-racism within the organization.
- Creating a Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Council.
This Council will bring together team members from all levels and backgrounds of our organization who will meet and regularly discuss ways that our firm can advance progress both internally and externally. We need to lift up the voices of our diverse colleagues and make sure they have a seat at the table of change.
- Expanding Diversity and Inclusion Training.
We are planning a Diversity and Inclusion course to include unconscious bias training. While we have had unconscious bias as a part of our training in the past, we recognize the need to expand the learning experience to all facets of our organization.
- Committing to the Donation of Time and Money to Organizations that Uplift the Black Community.
Our WB Foundation Charity for June is 100 Black Men of Atlanta. In a show of support, our Management Group has committed to matching firm donations for this month. We also commit to more regular support of minority nonprofits through our WB Foundation. The Foundation supports a new charity each month and the organizations we support are nominated by team members. We will be actively seeking out initiatives to support with both our dollars and our time.
- Reexamining our Recruiting and Hiring Practices.
We commit to continually examining our recruiting and hiring practices to ensure our practices are free from biases of all kinds, especially those related to race. We are proud to be a firm with 50% female leadership but recognize that we need to do more to be inclusive across all demographics. We have held trainings in the past related to inclusive hiring procedures and will expand these trainings and practices. We have actively increased diversity in our candidate sourcing by involvement in the National Association of Black Accountants (NABA) and other associations that aim to close the opportunity gap in the accounting industry; encourage and reward referrals from current employees; offer an employer-paid childcare assistance program; and offer work from home, flexible hours, and reduced schedule options to all.
During these dark times, it is important for us as a firm to understand that racism is not new to our country. We recognize that events like those in the last few weeks hit the news cycle and fade from the public eye, but that social injustice and racism have not faded throughout the history of our country. We are listening to our team members, educating ourselves, providing support, and committing to taking action.
–Heidi LaMarca, Windham Brannon Managing Partner & CEO