Diversity & Inclusion in the Workplace Matters

By John-Anthony Meza, Senior Director Human Resources & Office

Employees who come from a wide variety of backgrounds help us serve our clients better.

An organization’s success and competitiveness depends upon its ability to embrace diversity and realize those benefits in the workplace. In a recent article in HR Executive Online that 150 global CEOs from some of the world’s leading companies signed the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion initiative, pledging to take action. I found this interesting, that we at Raffa, P.C. have always striven to provide an inclusive environment that attracts and retains a values-and purpose-driven diverse workforce from our founding over 30 years ago. We feel what makes us different is what brings us together, enhancing our respect and appreciation for each other and allowing us to provide even better service to our clients. A short time ago I spoke on just this point at the B Corp Impact of Diversity, Inclusion & Equity in the Workplace event.

Unlike my background in other firms where we had to build committees, resource groups, or other entities to allow individuals from underrepresented groups to move up through our ranks – it has always been part of Raffa’s DNA.

  • Raffa is the 16th largest women-owned company in the Washington D.C. metro area (Washington Business Journal)
  • The only top 100 nationally-ranked, woman-owned CPA and advisory firm.
  • Over 60% of partners are women with over 30% of partners being people of color, LGBT, or non-US born.
  • Over 70% of partners, managers and employees are women, people of color, LGBT, disabled, or non-US born.

Here at Raffa, we understand that this is not enough. We want our people to thrive and be happy in their careers. Our mission is to do more and work toward a world that is more just, caring and sustainable through social impact, partnership, and diversity. We will continue to build relationships to encourage individuals from all groups to grow and become leaders in our firm and in our community. These are organic outgrowths of the firm’s culture vs. a top down approach.

We launched a mentoring program with Vital Voices to empower women leading change around the globe. Our young women employees join programs like the annual speed-mentoring event hosted by Washington Business Journal & BizWomen. We are involved with NABA and ALPFA, the African American and Hispanic/Latino accounting associations. We had a Pride committee that planned our participation in our local Pride event this year – with a strong support from the firm and a focus on our allies including our founder Tom Raffa. In addition to these recent initiatives, a recent group is now meeting to find their purpose at work through their faith.

Our partners have always thought these efforts made good business sense. With so many of our clients being non-profits, associations and socially conscious businesses, a recent report on associations and diversity pointed to why we work with the types of select clients that we do. Employees from diverse backgrounds bring individual talents and experiences that can be adapted to our client needs and allows Raffa to better provide service to them at different points in their organizational life. Together, our diversity allows us to achieve our goal of being the most helpful and caring professional services partner in the world. #HR #diversity #WorkLifeWins #DoMore

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