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Taking a Strategic Approach to DE&I

Organizations across all industries are challenged to not only embrace diversity, but to cultivate environments where every individual feels valued, respected, and empowered. At The Bonadio Group (TBG), we are committed to fostering a more inclusive workplace. In this spirit, we are proud to share the progress of our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I) journey here at TBG.

In collaboration with our firm leadership, Andrew Stephens, our manager of DE&I, has created and begun to implement a comprehensive three-year DE&I strategy that aims to cultivate a sense of belonging among all employees. Under Andrew's guidance, we have experienced significant progress.

We sat down with Andrew to discuss why having a long-term strategy is so important, some of the major accomplishments achieved to date, and how trending DE&I topics will inform our future initiatives.


The Importance of DE&I Strategy

Developing and executing a strategy is crucial for success across all business functions and industries, including DE&I. Building a more inclusive and equitable workplace involves multiple stakeholders and various components. It requires adequate resources, education, leadership support, and so much more. A well-structured strategy can streamline these efforts and offer a comprehensive roadmap to achieve these objectives.

As our world becomes more diverse, the importance of DE&I strategy is only growing. “Speaking on the “D” in DE&I, the United States is very diverse and only becoming more diverse over time. Therefore, we are serving more and more diverse clients,” shared Andrew. “It is key to understand this diversity from a strategic standpoint as it impacts our People, clients, and communities.”

Andrew also emphasized how important the “E” and “I” of DE&I are. “Companies can focus on recruiting diverse candidates all they want, but it’s truly about making People feel included and heard when they get there.”

Overall, DE&I work is so important because it impacts everyone at every time. “There will always be new trends and societal changes that impact our daily lives. DE&I strategy will always be essential because of this,” added Andrew.


Celebrating Progress

Education

Education is a vital component of DE&I—it not only provides awareness and knowledge on critical topics, but it encourages further curiosity, conversation, and even changes in behavior.

Through collaboration between Andrew, our Learning & Development team, and the DE&I Council’s Education Committee, we've made major strides in this area over the past year. From tailored learning tracks to engaging Lunch & Learn sessions, our investment in DE&I education has not only enriched our organizational culture but has also positioned us as leaders in the accounting industry.

“Our DE&I education initiatives provide the opportunity for each and every member of the firm to be equipped with the knowledge, skills, and awareness needed to drive meaningful change,” shared Andrew.

“We have seen some great attendance and engagement in our Lunch & Learn sessions in particular—the topics have really resonated with our People and I'm looking forward to hosting more in the future!”

DE&I Council

Under Andrew’s guidance, our DE&I Council has also seen a major transformation. The overall structure of the council saw a strategic refresh and restructuring, which has led to increased collaboration, organization, and engagement across its committees.

“It was time for a refresh,” said Andrew. “We’ve implemented attendance expectations, council member terms, clear objectives, and enhanced communication channels.”

The council now serves as a hub for innovation and progress.

Events

Over the past year, our firm has had the privilege of participating in/attending the 2023 Pride Parades across our footprint. This opportunity, and many others, would not have been possible without the efforts of Andrew and the DE&I Council.

And with the newly created Culture Committee, a firm-wide initiative aimed to drive positive change, foster collaboration, and shape our collective future through wellness, social, community, and DE&I based events and activities, our DE&I initiatives will have even more support.

“I’m so proud of the alignment we have achieved with the Culture Committee. We have so much more opportunity to bring our People to important and meaningful events.”


Looking Ahead: Data-Driven DE&I Strategy

One key area that we have just started to skim the surface of at TBG is data-driven DE&I efforts. Like many companies, we have spent the past few years implementing DE&I change in the workplace little by little. Now, in 2024, DE&I conversations have progressed past the abstract and into the world of data analytics.

“While we haven't entirely immersed ourselves into DE&I analytics yet, it is certainly on the horizon for our firm, and I am very excited to see where it takes us!” shared Andrew.

Join us on our ongoing DE&I journey as we celebrate our successes, acknowledge the challenges and move toward a more inclusive tomorrow. If you are interested in learning more about our firm-wide DE&I efforts, check out our dedicated DE&I page here. And feel free to reach out to our Manager of DE&I, Andrew Stephens, at astephens@bonadio.com if you have any questions or would like to discuss further.