A new initiative aims to create more diversity among corporate tax professionals.

Tony Santiago, owner of the recruiting businesses Tax Search Inc. and TaxTalent.com, has introduced TaxDiversity.com, a Web site that focuses on improving the diversity of minorities and women in the tax profession as the traditional white male population begins to retire in large numbers.

"As a recruiting firm and industry resource, we saw a lack of diversity, particularly among minorities in the tax profession, as well as a lack of women in senior leadership roles," said Santiago in a statement. "With the number of retirees increasing fast and a long retraining time required for new hires, we must reach out to all populations quickly, or there could be dire consequences."

In a recent survey of U.S. tax professionals conducted by one of Santiago's companies, more than 68 percent of the respondents said that racial diversity at the senior executive level within the tax profession was below average or poor. Nearly half the respondents said that the availability of support systems to promote diversity among tax professionals was below average or poor.

At TaxDiversity.com, students and professionals can view job openings, participate in forums, read case studies and watch video commentary from successful minority tax professionals. Santiago plans to reach out to minority colleges to educate undergraduates about the benefits of a tax career, set up scholarships and provide mentors. The initiative will also open communications to help women reach senior positions and offer services to help organizations improve their diversity strategies.

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