Life at Deloitte

Recognizing Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month

#AsianAndAmerican: Alice Kwan and Rumy Jaleel-Khan share their perspective

May 26, 2022

This year’s recognition of Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month has heightened importance for both our country and Deloitte community. In the past year, we have witnessed many crimes that have impacted Asian Americans across the United States. It can be easy to feel overwhelmed and hopeless by news of violence against the Asian community. It is important for us to take the time today, and every day, to honor our community’s vital role in shaping the past and future of our country.

At Deloitte, we celebrate our Asian professionals for being both Asian AND American, affirming our connection to our cultures, values, and traditions, while also recognizing our belonging in this country. We created this video to celebrate the AAPI community— and recognize that the term “Asian” doesn’t indicate a monolith, but rather encompasses a broad and unique swath of nationalities, cultures, and heritage languages. We celebrate and support all of our Asian professionals for the individuals that they are and the unique views they bring to the organization.

Opportunities at Deloitte for Asian Professionals – Alice Kwan

Through our Asian & Allies DEI program, we focus on eminence, learning & development, sponsorship, and community. We led and developed several initiatives, but highlights include small group career coaching on personal branding and having difficult conversations, celebration events of both Lunar New Year and Holi with 1,000+ attendees, in-person community events across the country, and a sponsorship program to empower senior East and Southeast Asian professionals to help them take ownership of their careers.

From a benefits perspective, Deloitte’s hybrid commuting subsidy (available to all employees) enables Deloitte employees to use rideshare in place of public transportation helping our professionals feel a sense of safety when commuting to and from work—this benefit was specifically created to alleviate anxiety about public transportation. In particular, this has been meaningful for many in the Asian community given the rise in anti-Asian hate. Our professionals also have access to Deloitte’s Integrated Mental Health Services (IMHS), which provides short-term counseling. Recently, a junior Asian professional shared with me that after using the short-term care offered through IMHS, IMHS connected her to an in-network Asian American female provider for long-term care, something she had struggled to find for years.

I am proud to be part of an organization that not only recognizes AAPI Heritage Month but takes meaningful action to support our Asian professionals’ health, well-being, and professional development all year. And Deloitte is committed to continuing to strengthen our commitment to our Asian professionals and the Asian community. I hope that you take the time to recognize AAPI Heritage Month in a way that feels right to you, whether it be committing to being an active listener as an ally or learning more about your own heritage.

Alice Kwan, moderating an AAPI panel

Practicing Allyship to the Asian Community at Deloitte – Rumy Jaleel-Khan

Our Asian Community is very unique as it represents multiple cultures and ethnic groups from South Asia, Southeast Asia, and East Asia. Asia is a giant umbrella representing more than half the world's population. This month we not only recognize Asians but also Pacific Islanders! This means celebrating multiple ethnic groups, with a wide range of customs, beliefs, languages, religions, and traditions.

AAPI Heritage Month is all about recognizing the richness of being an Asian and/or a Pacific Islander, celebrating achievements and contributions by Asians and Pacific Islanders while recognizing the challenges that many Asians and Pacific Islanders continue to face in society.

While it is important to recognize and support our Asian professionals, I also want to emphasize the importance of active allyship. At Deloitte, 2022 is the year of allyship. Allyship is about those with privilege using that privilege to support those who don’t. Allyship can be subtle yet powerful actions that advance equity. Early in my career, I had many allies who spoke up for me, and I would not be here if not for them. Whether it be pulling your colleague aside to tell them they said a potentially offensive comment to your Asian coworker to creating leadership opportunities for Asian professionals on your team, allyship means actively using your voice and privilege to speak up for others. We can all be an ally! To help our allies speak up, we launched a ‘Say This, Not That’ toolkit nationally to highlight phrases that are potentially offensive to the Asian community and offer alternative phrases for consideration to equip our non-Asian professionals to be better allies to Asian professionals. Being an ally isn’t always easy—it can be uncomfortable to identify our own biases and work to correct them, but it’s important for all of us to continue to learn and grow together in order to advance equity for all. It’s never too early or too late to begin your allyship journey.

Rumy Jaleel-Khan, moderating an AAPI panel

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