Diversity steadily increasing across tax profession, report finds

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Online career resource TaxTalent released a new report this week, titled "2018 Diversity in Tax Report," which reveals a general uptick in diversity across the tax profession, albeit with some caveats.

The report's data was collected via the Big Four firms, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the AICPA. The report found that compared to 2014, enrollment levels for accounting programs among African-Americans, Latinos, and Asians have increased 28.6 percent, 57.1 percent and 27.3 percent, respectively. In public accounting, African-American representation has increased 14 percent since 2014, while Asian representation has grown 16.6 percent, and Latino growth has remained flat. And while Caucasian representation in Big Four firms has actually decreased slightly since 2008, minority growth in those firms has largely remained stagnant.

The report's other big revelation found that female leadership at the senior level remains low. Although the rates of men (52 percent) and women (48 percent) obtaining accounting degrees is nearly the same, the distribution of gender at the partner and principal level remains overwhelmingly skewed towards men (76 percent). However, the report reflects optimism that new generations of professionals can and will change this dynamic.

"Younger generations tend to be more open-minded about diversity and place a higher value on inclusion and equality in the workplace," the report notes. "As the group of traditional and more conservative Baby Boomers begins to retire, the generations in the workforce will shift, and diversity will continue to evolve naturally as younger generations are promoted into high-level leadership positions."

"Companies should continue to create a culture of inclusion and position themselves as an organization that embraces diversity," stated Tony Santiago, president of TaxTalent and TaxSearch. "The companies who practice this will be employers of choice for minority and female candidates and diversity will only continue to grow."

For the full report, head to TaxTalent's site here.

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Diversity and equality Gender issues Workplace culture