At Deloitte, diversity is so yesterday. Not because the Big Four has abandoned multiculturalism, but because the conversations have grown more complex.
Many such conversations were heard in the tech-savvy classrooms, interactive client "labs," and dining areas of Deloitte University March 4-5, during the official launch of the firm's Leadership Center for Inclusion in Westlake, Texas. The driving forces behind the new term "inclusion" are old classics: profits, client and employee relationships, survival.
The business case for inclusion was continually laid out by firm, client, academic and media participants in the two days of break-out sessions, campus tours and speeches by Deloitte leaders. The leadership structure has also changed, with executives dedicated to an inclusion strategy that expands beyond women and minorities.
Twenty years ago, Deloitte created a women's initiative, but has since added the verticals of diversity (ethnic, sexual orientation, the disabled, veterans) and work-life (encompassing generational issues, flexibility, and physical and emotional wellness).
The leaders of each silo would hesitate to call them verticals, however, as another big definitional shift of the firm is from "programmatic" to "cultural," with these categories meant to run horizontally, diagonally, and in connection with one another.
Deloitte's new language is necessary for today's economy, informed by globalization and the recognition of a broader scope of diversity. "You can't bifurcate the inclusion strategy from the talent strategy," explained chief talent officer Jennifer Steinmann. "You have to think about how people see inclusion ... You have to see yourself in the picture." And hear yourself in the conversation.
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