A personal note to our members:
It is amazing to consider all NCACPA has focused on and accomplished in the DEI space over the past couple of years, and I would like to share an update with you. I am honored to work alongside a board of directors, an internal team, and numerous volunteers who give support at a time when their professional obligations have never been greater.
The most important aspect of my message relates to “why” DEI is at the center of your association’s strategic roadmap. To quote author Michael Hyatt… “When you know your why, you’ll know your way.” Research has shown time and time again the advantages of creating and cultivating organizations that are diverse, equitable, and inclusive. As CEO, I want to do everything possible to facilitate the existence of an organization where everyone feels respected, appreciated, and included. That means promoting fairness and impartiality within our procedures, and ensuring all individuals feel welcome—and are welcome. As a result of embedding these practices into our organizational culture, NCACPA will be stronger and better able to serve members and the accounting profession as a whole.
The pace of our journey has been steady—but with important and appropriate study along the way—which included an assessment of where we were in this space before charting a course to move forward. I can’t go further without recognizing the incredible efforts of our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Resource Group (DEI RG). These individuals are working tirelessly, meeting monthly since February of 2021. Following essential training, the Resource Group created subgroups to focus on three tasks: revising our DEI statement, developing a membership survey, and securing racial equity training for staff and volunteer leaders. The DEI RG coordinates their efforts with the ongoing guidance of Pillar Consulting. It’s also important to stress the significance of our board’s wisdom in supporting the need for a professional consulting team to guide us.
As mentioned, one of the DEI RG’s essential efforts has been revising our prior DEI Statement (approved by the Board in 2019). Based on their outstanding work, at the conclusion of this update, I am extremely proud to share the revised statement that was recently approved by the Board. This statement will guide our journey in the years to come and enable us to benchmark progress given the specific action items noted.
Our DEI RG’s next major initiative is obtaining data to better understand how you engage with NCACPA, what’s most important to you, and who you are. A member survey will launch shortly to capture that information and the results will guide our next steps. This survey is unique in that it is centered around researched constructs of inclusion, such as fairness, belonging, and voice, and asks important demographic questions focusing on gender, race, and ethnicity. We need your “voices” so we can create an association that reflects your needs.
In closing, our journey and investment in DEI begins with understanding. Our commitment will move from understanding to accountability, and ultimately to an ongoing integration of what we’re learning as we go. As poet Maya Angelou said, “When you know better, you do better,” and I believe the foundational efforts of so many have established a legacy for NCACPA that will remain vital for generations to come.
My sincere thanks to you for joining me on this journey.
Sharon Bryson, M.Ed.
NCACPA DEI Statement
(Approved by the NCACPA Board on 10/26/21)
The Association is committed to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in its membership, leadership, staff, and business relationships. The Association is also committed to increasing diversity within the profession, including supporting historically marginalized students and professionals. We believe transformation within the Association and the broader accounting profession will be advanced through the inclusion of individuals from diverse backgrounds, including race, gender identity and expression, age, ability, sexual orientation, and religion. We further believe the inclusion of unique perspectives and experiences within the Association creates an environment that offers equitable practices and policies, and promotes a culture that is reflective of the communities we serve.
By prioritizing and embracing diversity, equity, and inclusion, we strive to be a more effective and adaptive Association. By valuing and respecting individual perspectives, creating a culture of collective responsibility, and supporting institutional transformation, we increase our strengths, capabilities, and commitment to enhancing a highly valued and sustainable accounting profession.
NCACPA supports DEI in the profession by:
Offering Learning & Development:
Providing Leadership Opportunities and Connections through the Volunteer Experience:
Supporting the Pipeline:
Contributing to the Community: