The Massachusetts Society of Certified Public Accountants (MSCPA) launched their first part of a series on diversity Friday morning, aimed to teach its members on how to best recruit and retain a diverse workforce in accounting, the Society announced. Both accounting professionals and diversity experts were on hand to explain how diversity plays a crucial role during a panel discussion at PwC’s Seaport office.

The panel was moderated by Rich Caturano, national leader of culture, diversity and inclusion at RSM. Topics discussed included: How to partner with diversity organizations (e.g. National Association of Black Accountants and the Association of Latino Professionals for America); working with recruiters that specialize in diversity; handling workplace culture; and how sponsorship can help diversity retention.\

Additional members of the panel included:

  • Phyllis Barajas - Executive director of Conexion
  • Ken Bouyer - Americas director of inclusiveness recruiting
  • Kim Dukes Rivers - Senior vice president of direct hire division & diversity recruitment at KNF&T Staffing
  • Paul Francisco - VP of global inclusion & head of university relations North America at State Street Corporation
  • Rich Mastrocola - President & CEO of Tonneson
  • Rad Nova - Executive director at ALPFA

The event comes at a time when AICPA data claims that minorities represent only one in six professionals nationwide, a statistic the organization hopes to change through initiatives such as the MSCPA's.
“Our members want the best and brightest talent for their organizations, and they know that means understanding how to recruit and retain a diverse workforce,” stated Amy Pitter, president and CEO of MSCPA. “This series is designed to give firm leaders practical advice on how to do just that. The Society recognizes that our members want to learn more about this issue and we look forward to continuing this conversation through multiple events throughout the year.”

“The business case for a more diverse and inclusive profession is gaining more strength each day and we need to be sure we are focused on a strategy that will bring a more diverse workforce to our profession and to our firms and businesses,” said Caturano in a statement.

For more on the MSCPA, head to the Society's site here.