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Ongoing Initiatives With DEI Task Force Chair Lisa Fisher

 

Because October is Global Diversity Awareness Month, now is the perfect time to discuss the importance of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) within the profession and our organization, and who better to help with that goal than the Chair of the MICPA Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Task Force, Lisa Fisher, CPA, and Manager, Tax Accounting, at Daimler North America.

So, what inspires people to make DEI initiatives a priority? For Lisa, professionally and personally, she cites the efforts of her father, a minister who left the pulpit to work for the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission, and her introduction to the National Association of Black Accountants (NABA) in college. “Their motto is lifting as we climb,” she says, “and it just really hit me: Yes! This is me. This is what I want to do.”   

Borrowing from Lisa’s example, and so many others, the MICPA, too, is working hard to cover the ground necessary for creating a more diverse, inclusive and equitable association. Our new internal DEI Committee meets monthly to learn, unlearn and discuss topics that foster awareness around unconscious bias, microaggressions, privilege, pronouns and many of the challenges underrepresented and marginalized groups continue to face.

Our new hiring strategies were born of these efforts; ensuring that our practices are up to date, our recruiting language is inclusive and that our culture is clearly stated so that we can engage a broader pool of talent. With a vision of Equal Together and a mission to serve as champions for DEI, and to foster awareness, understanding and accountability that results in lasting, positive change throughout our organization, we are taking steps to ensure our association is a place where our members, partners and employees feel they belong.

One of the first steps the MICPA DEI task force will take is to work with other organizations to collaborate on best practices and share knowledge. Another major initiative is the pipeline. Lisa says, “[Starting with] high school students, getting them through college and into the profession is an area we really need to focus on.”

We have been working toward expanding the pipeline by increasing exposure to the profession with our High School Leaders Program and the creation of the online Student Accounting Academy. To take our efforts one step further, Lisa suggests that our members can help by “just getting out there and talking to them.” She says, “Let them see what we do, and that we really enjoy what we do.”

She encourages members to participate by logging in to MICPA Connect and joining the DEI Discussion Group and suggests that if members want to get involved beyond discussion, we can help them find ways to speak to their alma maters or local schools. She adds, “You don’t have to be a member of the task force to do that.”

Our members have already shown a great appreciation for giving back, and I’m excited to see all the ways in which they and our organization will continue to do just that. For more information on what the MICPA and the DEI Task Force are doing to move DEI initiatives forward, watch my full conversation with Lisa on YouTube. 

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