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Having a Lakehouse Makes KPMG the Most Diverse of the Big 4, According to Weird Ranking

For the third year in a row, KPMG was the only Big 4 representative on DiversityInc’s ranking of the top 50 companies for diversity, coming in at No. 12 in 2020. Congrats to KPMG. But one of the reasons why the Radio Station is the most diversitiest of the Big 4 firms left me scratching my head.

For each of the 50 companies on the list, DiversityInc highlights a few diversity and inclusion initiatives the business has undertaken during the past year. Let’s take a look at Accenture (ranked No. 5), for example:

  • Appointed its first female CEO, Julie Sweet, last September.
  • Hosted more than 240 International Women’s Day celebrations for 45,000 people in 48 countries in 2019.
  • Hosted summer immersion programs for the nonprofit group Girls Who Code.

OK, I can understand why Accenture would make the top five.

Now let’s take a look at KPMG. The firm has not only developed a supplier diversity program, but the KPMG U.S. Foundation pledged more than $2 million to nonprofits impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, including Girls Who Code, the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

Both of those things should be applauded. But here’s the very first thing DiversityInc mentioned about why KPMG is a top 50 company for diversity:

KPMG demonstrated its commitment to professional development this year with the opening of the KPMG Lakehouse in Orlando, a learning, development and innovation center that will serve 800 KPMG professionals each week.

Huh? What does opening Kamp KPMG in January have to do with diversity and inclusion? The venue shouldn’t matter; training could be held at Central Park, McCormick Place in Chicago, a Marriott in Detroit, or at Lynne Doughtie’s sprawling estate. It’s the diversity of the lil’ KPMG interns and/or new hires who frolic in and around the Lakehouse that really matters. And I’m not sure if the latest crop of Klynveldian interns and new hires are any more or less diverse than in previous years.

It seems DiversityInc was really grasping at KPMG straws by including the Lakehouse among its top reasons why KPMG is the Big 4 leader in D&I.

Speaking of the Lakehouse, has anyone gone to Orlando to check on it? You know, to make sure its white exterior hasn’t been spray painted black and yellow by some rogue EY vandals during the pandemic?

Only KPMG would open up a $450 million, 780,000-square-foot monster training and development compound only to have it shuttered for several months because of a global pandemic. Poor KPMG.