On Tuesday morning, the second day of events at Practitioners Symposium and Tech+ Conference in Orlando, Fla., Richard Caturano, the national leader of culture, diversity and inclusion at McGladrey and past chair of the AICPA, addressed an audience on the merits of diversity in business in his presentation titled, "The 'I' in Diversity & Inclusion."

In his current role at McGladrey, Caturano stated that, “I decided that I wanted to champion diversity in the profession so that I could make a difference. It’s important for all of you, regardless of size or diversity in your firm, to learn what we’re talking about when we say 'diversity and inclusion.'"

Noting that "diversity" implies a variety of factors (gender, race, age, body size, physical abilities), Caturano painted a picture of how diverse the world is with the "100 People" model - If we could shrink the Earth's population down to 100 people, with all existing ratios, what would that village look like? Caturano described the scenario thusly: 

  • # of Asians: 60
  • # of Europeans: 12
  • # of those from Western Hemisphere: 13
  • # of Africans: 14
  • # of South Pacific: 1
  • % of Male to Female: 51 men, 49 women
  • % White/non-White: 18% White, 82% non-White
  • Heterosexual/Homosexual: 11% homosexual
  • 32% of world’s wealth would be in hands of: 5 people
  • How many of those people from U.S.: 5
  • How many in substandard housing: 80
  • How many unable to read: 67
  • How many would have college education: 1
  • How many would have access to internet: 7

Caturano also shared that by 2050, underrepresented minorities will represent 52% of the US population, affecting business-making decisions just as much as simple demographics.
Marking the difference between the two, Caturano pointed out "'Diversity' is who we are, 'Inclusion' is what we do. Inclusion says, 'It’s fine to be different, as long as you feel included and have a seat at the table.' If you don’t make people feel welcome, they won’t want to stay."

Caturano also shared his "Three Gears of Inclusion: Reverse, Neutral, and Forward," asking what gear one's business is in, but also one's whole life. 

"The 'I' in inclusion is you - to shift away from neutral to forward," he said. "Treating people fairly is doing what’s meaningful for each individual to make them feel successful. Treat them based off of what’s successful for them."

For more information on Caturano and his role at McGladrey, head to their site here.