DEI strategy: Taking a stand against racism (Berkowitz Pollack Brant)

Talent Development
June 16, 2022 - Berkowitz Pollack Brant Advisors + CPAs

This is a thought leadership article on creating and implementing a diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) strategy from PrimeGlobal member firm Berkowitz Pollack Brant Advisors + CPAs in North America.

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In the wake of the murder of George Floyd, PrimeGlobal member firm Berkowitz Pollack Brant realized it had to do more to create a diverse and inclusive workplace. It set itself three main goals, namely:

  • To continue to provide a culture that is inclusive, positive and respectful;
  • To appreciate the strength it gains from diversity; and
  • To live up to its core values.

To achieve these goals, it focused on internal and external action.

Internal action

Berkowitz Pollack Brant joined CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion, a national organization that shares tools for conversations about race in the workplace. It is the largest CEO-driven business commitment to advancing diversity and inclusion at work.

In addition, it created its own DEI committee led by CEO Joseph Saka and Associate Director of Audit and Attest Services Melissa Fleitas. The committee surveyed the firm’s members to understand their perspectives. With the help of an outside expert, it created an action plan based on the survey results.

It also invited speakers to share their experiences as members of different populations and conducted a “Courageous Conversation” facilitated by firm members as an open forum for everyone to share, listen and learn.

External action

The firm’s commitment to DEI extends beyond its four walls. It has also been supporting the Racial Equity Fund of The Miami Foundation, which is committed to addressing and eradicating racism in all of its forms in Greater Miami.

The first round of funds went to front-line non-profits working to build leaders and empower communities while galvanizing and inspiring others. The second round of funds went to 11 individuals who are making a difference in diverse communities. These are people who make a difference but are traditionally overlooked by traditional philanthropy. The next round of funds will focus on systems ripe for change.

The firm has also supported organizations such as the YWCA, SOUL Sisters, Maven Leadership Collective, and the Community Justice Project. For example, it financially supported and participated in the YWCA’s 21 Day Stand Against Racism Challenge.

Other community organizations it has supported include the American Jewish Committee, the Anti-Defamation League, and MCCJ.

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Berkowitz Pollack Brant Advisors + CPAs

The advisors and accountants of Berkowitz Pollack Brant have provided comprehensive tax planning and compliance, forensic and litigation support audit services and business consulting to entrepreneurs, companies and individuals for more than four decades. Our strength is establishing inter-disciplinary teams comprised of CPAs, finance and valuation professionals, senior tax professionals, technical audit specialists, information technology resources, and financial and estate planning experts. The firm has earned a reputation for integrity, collaboration and technical skill.

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