KPMG: A Record of Investing in Education for Minorities Makes This Firm an Employer of Choice

By Fagerberg, Paula | Diversity Employers, October 2003 | Go to article overview

KPMG: A Record of Investing in Education for Minorities Makes This Firm an Employer of Choice


Fagerberg, Paula, Diversity Employers


Tell us about some of KPMG's accomplishments over the last few years in terms of its diversity initiatives.

KPMG and the KPMG Foundation have a compelling history, of involvement in diversity efforts and a track record the firm is very proud of. For more than 30 years, we have offered a broad spectrum of programs and activities focused on diversity, both at the firm and throughout the accounting profession.

The KPMG Foundation has promoted excellence in business on all levels, and contributed $110 million to support students, professors, and academic organizations nationwide. Our Ph.D. project focuses on addressing under representation of African Americans, Hispanic Americans, and Native Americans in business, higher education, and the corporate workforce. This award-winning program has helped significantly increase the number of minority professors on business school faculties, attract more minority students to business programs, and create greater diversity in tomorrow's workforce.

Additionally, the KPMG Foundation assists historically black colleges and universities [HBCUs] in the accreditation process to ensure continuous improvement and valuable recognition for their graduates. Since 1994, the number of accredited HBCUs has nearly tripled, from five to 14.

What is it like for new employees of color when they join the company?

One of the things we have done over the last couple of years is to reinforce the importance of diversity starting on day one. Each new employee attends a one- or two-day orientation session, depending upon the office location, that includes information about the firm's values, the importance of treating everyone with respect and dignity, and our organizational structure. To introduce new hires to the values of our firm and the importance placed on them by our senior leadership team, we use an orientation video with messages and discussion from the entire senior leadership team. If you look at the major accounting firms, we're all basically doing the same type of work, but what differentiates us is our culture and our commitment to diversity.

Additionally, every new hire is expected to complete Respect & Dignity Training within 30 days of their orientation. We are currently in the process of developing the next generation of Respect & Dignity Training, which will be introduced some time early next year and will emphasize the specific roles and responsibilities of partners, managers, and staff members. Everyone at KPMG has a responsibility, regardless of his or her role, for maintaining and promoting an inclusive environment.

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KPMG: A Record of Investing in Education for Minorities Makes This Firm an Employer of Choice
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