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Deloitte stands against systemic bias, racism, and unequal treatment

As an organization deeply committed to diversity and inclusion, Deloitte stands against the legacy of systemic bias, racism, and unequal treatment that continues to plague our communities. The following messages were shared with our people to convey our commitment to drive meaningful and lasting change in our communities…

Thursday, June 4, 2020

Colleagues,

Since our note on Saturday, we have heard from many of you—sharing your personal experiences with systematic racism and bias, feedback on our firm’s culture, including ideas on how we can improve racial injustice and bias especially with the black community, and suggestions on calls to action for Deloitte to lead the changes in society that we all want to see. As the leaders of our firm, we are not only actively listening, we are committed to action.

Tomorrow (Friday June 5th), we will come together as a Deloitte community to honor the victims of racial injustice, and to learn, listen, and start exploring and defining ideas of concrete actions we can take as an organization to positively impact change. We know that we do not have all the answers, which is why we seek your direct input and engagement.

  • Moments of Reflection: We’ll be hosting two national webcast sessions (morning and afternoon ET) to take a pause—a moment of reflection—to honor the victims of racism and racial injustice in our country and to acknowledge and commit to the transformation of society that must occur. 
  • Safe Place for Dialogue: To allow for opportunities for your voice to be heard in a more informal setting, leaders will host small group conversations over the next several weeks with the first few of these occurring tomorrow. During these sessions, you’ll have the opportunity to share your experiences, raise your concerns and ideas, hear each other’s stories, or just simply listen and learn. In addition to these sessions, we are meeting with our black PPMDs tomorrow to hear their perspectives and counsel.

Education and Resources for All of Us

This is not only an organizational journey; this is a call to action for each of us individually. The Deloitte Inclusion team has created a website which includes a number of resources that you can leverage to learn more about how you can take definitive actions to support our black community, promote equality, root out bias, speak up against racial injustice, and serve as allies. We will continue to add to this list as we continue to receive many recommendations. 

We have read (and listened to) a number of these resources, and both of us highly recommend the following:

  • Bryan Stevenson’s Just Mercy
  • Ava DuVernay’s 13th
  • Dr. Brittney Cooper’s Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower
  • Maya Angelou’s I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
  • Ijeoma Oluo’s So You Want to Talk About Race
  • Robin DiAngelo’s White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism
  • Dr. Ibram X. Kendi’s How to Be An Antiracist
  • 1619 podcast (New York Times)
     
Investing Deloitte’s Resources to Rebuild our Communities

Deloitte has a long history of supporting our communities, including donating our dollars as well as the time of our people to organizations doing important work, but we must do even more. We will start ramping up our substantial investments, including an additional $5 million dollars of contributions and pro bono commitments, to a number of organizations that are fighting for social justice, tackling employment and wealth inequality, and creating educational opportunities for underserved communities. We will expand well beyond some of the organizations we have historically supported, and we want you to be engaged in the decision of where we direct our monetary contributions and pro bono efforts. Be on the lookout tomorrow for a link that will allow you to provide your input on organizations you’d like us to consider supporting.


Taking Care of Yourselves and Each Other

We ask that you take care of your own well-being and be there to support each other. We recognize that this traumatic time is even more difficult as we cannot support one another in person. We encourage you to take the time to take care of yourself, reflect, grieve, and connect with family and friends. And, please be there for your colleagues—exercise empathy, embody allyship, and join one of the Moments of Reflection sessions on Friday to listen and open your heart to understanding.

You have our unwavering commitment that our intense focus will not fade as the news cycle shifts—Deloitte is in it for the long term, and we will do the hard work to change the unacceptable status quo. To that end, we are in the process of organizing a group of internal and external advisors to help us architect and execute the long-term strategy and plans to sustain real change who will report directly to the two of us—more to follow on this. We look forward to sharing more with you and listening to your ideas and feedback.

In solidarity,


Joe Ucuzoglu
Chief Executive Officer
Deloitte US 

Janet Foutty
Chair of the Board
Deloitte US     

Saturday, May 30, 2020

Colleagues,

It is with great sadness that we share this brief note, only a few days after communicating with you about racism in our country broadly, as well as recent senseless tragedies that have occurred. While there are no words to adequately describe the anger and hurt we are both feeling today, we felt that silence is simply unacceptable—and we know that you share in that sentiment. In that spirit, we express our unwavering commitment to stand against the legacy of systemic bias, racism, and unequal treatment that continues to plague our communities with frightening frequency. The black community in particular is experiencing unspeakable trauma.

We have each made a meaningful personal donation today to organizations that are committed to bringing about social justice and repairing our communities. Our commitment to you is that we’ll be back in touch, shortly, with specificity as to the plan we will execute to ensure Deloitte is leading the change we want to see. Words, emails, and donations don’t suffice.

In solidarity,


Joe Ucuzoglu
Chief Executive Officer
Deloitte US 

Janet Foutty
Chair of the Board
Deloitte US     

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Colleagues,

Over the past few months, we’ve been faced with challenges that are truly unprecedented. As we come together as a Deloitte community to navigate this environment, we have an opportunity and an obligation to remain steadfast in our commitment to foster a diverse and inclusive culture. Deloitte should serve as a beacon of hope and inspiration throughout our communities.

Our commitment to inclusive leadership and behaviors, empathy, and allyship is more important than ever. We have been deeply saddened by recent events that go against our shared values—from the senseless and tragic shootings of Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia and Breonna Taylor in Louisville, to the slurs and bias against members of the Asian-American community in the wake of COVID-19, and the inequitable impacts this virus has had on many diverse groups in our communities—it’s a harsh reality that systemic bias, racism, inequality, and injustice continue to exist.

As a firm, we will continue to lead by example by reinforcing our unwavering commitment to diversity and inclusion with each other and in our communities. We continue to drive awareness of unconscious bias and how to mitigate it through training and resources. We have launched virtual inclusion events, activities, and exercises that bring people together and promote dialogue and understanding through our Inclusion Councils. And we have committed $2 million to support organizations and funds directly responding to COVID-19 relief and recovery efforts in our communities.

And as individuals, it is important that each of us demonstrate our shared values in all that we do. We each have a responsibility to be even more aware of unconscious bias happening around us. Our everyday actions to embrace diversity, act with empathy, and foster inclusion can drive real, positive change in society. Equally important, we all have an obligation to call out and address non-inclusive behaviors by others when we observe them. We cannot, and will not, let the challenges present in the world today pull us back from the progress we have made.

These are incredibly difficult realities to grapple with, and we recognize the personal impact these challenging times and senseless acts have on each of us. We want to emphasize that we are here for you.

Thank you for all you are doing, and will continue to do, to rise to the occasion in these difficult circumstances. We are grateful for each of you, and the inclusive culture you help foster.

All our best,

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