Diversity & inclusion3 min read

Accenture, Black Lives Matter & Lasting Change

This interview took place as part of our Inclusion Works pulse report series, looking at how organizations can harness the momentum created by the Black Lives Matter movement to create lasting change at work. As part of the series, we interviewed leading lights in DEI to understand their approaches and key learnings that anyone can apply in their organization. Because after all, we’re stronger together.

Check out the full pulse report Harnessing the power of the BLM movement to create a lasting culture of inclusion at work.

30 minutes with Amanda Leacy

Professional services, 500,000 employees

With open eyes, Accenture’s people want to navigate uncertainty and rework their existing culture through doing things differently, better and together.

Why we sat down with Amanda Leacy

Amanda Leacy, Global Managing Director - Inclusion and Diversity, Accenture

At Accenture, people at all levels are developing an understanding of the “layers of setbacks” that are often invisible to those that don’t face them personally. We connected with Amanda Leacy to hear her detail the effects of a renewed commitment to DI&B against a backdrop of COVID-19 and the BLM movement.
Immediate response

Driven by the uptick in interest and commitment to the BLM movement, Accenture helped their people unpack uncertainty, take conversations deeper and focus on education rather than simple discipline.

It's like training a muscle, it's about doing things different and better. It's not a new limb.

To ignite curiosity and discussion, they are in the process of holding workshops for managers, senior managers and Managing Directors. These workshops are three-hour deep dives into terminology, data and discussion.

Accenture has also initiated the roll-out of mandatory unconscious bias training. Leacy notes that, crucially, this must be wisely leveraged to take the conversation deeper.

Lasting change
And that’s not all. Accenture is committing to an “integrated pronged” approach. They point out that many businesses incorrectly believe D&I to be a recruitment issue. Yet Accenture knows that the solution lies in culture transformation — something that can only be done through programmes that educate and engage everyone.

Promisingly, there is pull from their employees for allyship courses and guidance on how to do antiracist work in the tiny, everyday moments. Accenture aim to accompany these with tools to debias processes throughout hiring, progression and staffing on client assignments.

To set accountability and transparency at an organisational level, Accenture plan to publish their ethnicity targets and data from September 2020. They hope this influences the entire business ecosystem and inspires other businesses to come together in tackling.

Three lessons from Accenture

✅ Use this growing acceptance of systemic racism to discuss how elements of your culture contribute to injustice — and don’t focus on recruitment alone.

Create fresh combinations on project teams to break down tribes — don’t ferry the same sets of people to the same sorts of projects together.

To change complex, layered systems, practise small, better habits alongside your teams

About Hive Learning Pulse Reports

Hive Learning Pulse Reports are a series of bite-sized action-oriented pulse checks reporting on the most pressing challenges inclusion leaders face.

Our goal is to uncover the root cause and playback powerful tactics the world’s most innovative leaders use to put inclusion into action on the ground, every day. Because when we learn together and from each other, we can all make progress faster.

If you have a particular challenge that you’d like to see addressed in our next round of reporting, or you’d like to participate in our latest report, get in touch here.

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