Approximately 50 percent of people of color in the accounting industry are at risk of leaving their jobs because accounting firms are botching their diversity programs, said a new study.

The research firm Catalyst surveyed a group of men and women of color in the accounting industry and found that about half of them do not feel obligated to stay with their current firms. Nearly a third of women of color are at risk of leaving their current firms within the year.

Even firms that claim a commitment to diversity seem to fall short in how they carry out that commitment. The survey respondents identified factors such as a lack of access to informal networks, stereotyping and double standards, and a lack of development opportunities.

To retain more employees of color, Catalyst recommends that accounting firm executives assess the work environment, hold managers accountable, and examine their own opinions, assumptions and behavior.

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