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Accounting News Roundup: Deloitte Scraps Its Diversity Groups | 07.20.17

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I linked to this yesterday, but the news that Deloitte is scrapping its affinity groups for “inclusion councils where white men hold important seats at the table” was…surprising? They explained it this way:

“We are turning it on its head for our people,” says Deepa Purushothaman, who’s led the WIN group since 2015 and is also the company’s managing principal for inclusion. Deloitte will still focus on gender parity and underrepresented groups, she says, but not in the same way it has for the past quarter-­century, in part because millennial employees—who make up 57 percent of Deloitte’s workforce—don’t like demographic pigeonholes.

“By having everyone in the room, you get more allies, advocates, and sponsors,” Purushothaman says. “A lot of our leaders are still older white men, and they need to be part of the conversation and advocate for women. But they’re not going to do that as much if they don’t hear the stories and understand what that means.”

One nonplussed diversity consultant is quoted, “I have not heard of a single company doing that,” while another HR expert and professor differed, saying, “affinity groups often fail because the white executives who make decisions aren’t directly involved in them.”

It is puzzling to hear about a mega company like Deloitte say that it’s ending its groups that focus on women, LGBT, “and groups focused solely on veterans or minority employees.” Is it the right thing to do? I don’t really know, but you can’t say they didn’t wring their hands about this move a great deal; a company of this size doesn’t work that way. Overlapping bureaucracies probably held numerous all-day meetings over the course of several months to make this decision. So, if nothing else, at least they thought about it a lot.

Horrible bosses

Earlier this week, I mentioned how insufferable Martin Shkreli would’ve been as a client. Perhaps not surprisingly, he was also a particularly insufferable boss. The New York Times reports on testimony from a former employee that serves as ample evidence:

Tim Pierotti, who once ran a consumer hedge fund for Martin Shkreli, said he had already lost faith in his boss by the end of 2012.

Then a letter from Mr. Shkreli came to his home, addressed to his wife.

“Your husband has stolen $1.6 million from me,” it read.

“Your pathetic excuse of a husband,” the letter added, “needs to get a real job that does not depend on fraud to succeed.”

“I hope to see you and your four children homeless,” the letter said. “I will do whatever I can to assure this. Your husband’s arrogance is infuriating, and making an enemy out of me is a mistake.”

I don’t think there’s any question whether Shkreli would text people on a Sunday.

Gas taxes

If you’re a SALT professional and have been slacking this summer, this Bloomberg BNA post on all the fuel tax changes going into effect around the country will help you feel with it again.

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