“We’re in this together” has been the Florida Institute of CPAs (FICPA) message to its members throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. And as our nation began confronting another pandemic, the injustices brought about by centuries of inequality, the mantra “We’re in this together” has taken on new meanings for the FICPA and our Board, Council, staff and members.
Our hearts are heavy. Our eyes are open. We are taking action.
First and foremost, know that the FICPA unequivocally condemns racism. We stand with those demanding justice and change through peaceful protest. We are saddened that violence by a few has too often diluted the demonstrators’ marches for change – marches happening all over our great state, the U.S. and beyond.
We acknowledge that, while progress is being made, the CPA profession can and must do better. Our profession can be more inclusive, more racially diverse, more understanding, more aware. We know that a diverse workforce is a powerful workforce and that diverse teams achieve more.
The FICPA embraces diversity in our mission and values statements. Beyond being good business, it is simply the right thing to do. We have long provided need- and merit-based scholarships to minority accounting students through the FICPA Scholarship Foundation, but believe true structural change requires going beyond that one point of influence. We offer diversity and inclusion programming for our members and insist upon it for our leadership and staff. We are continually striving to make our workplace – and those of our members – a place where all people and ideas are welcome and all employees are empowered to discuss diversity and inclusion.
Yet, we know there is more work to be done. We continue our formal diversity and inclusion efforts by listening, and by implementing the following action plans:
- The FICPA publicly affirms its commitment to signing the ceoaction.com “I ACT ON” CEO pledge. This pledge will help us drive inclusive behavior, support a more inclusive workplace and rally our members to advance diversity and inclusion within their workplaces.
- Our FICPA Board, Council, members and staff will work together to examine and revise current practices and programs, as needed, to align with the following “I ACT ON” CEO pledge goals in order to catalyze further conversations and actions around diversity and inclusion within the workplace, and to foster collaboration.
- We will continue to make our workplaces trusting places to have complex, and sometimes difficult, conversations about diversity and inclusion.
- We will implement and expand unconscious bias education.
- We will share best - and unsuccessful – practices.
- We will create and share strategic inclusion and diversity plans with our Council.
We invite all FICPA members to join us, standing together for ALL employees, members, partners, future CPAs, friends and fellow citizens. As we know all too well after the events of this challenging year, we’re in this together.