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December 2, 2022

Which Big 4 Big Shot Thinks We Should Exclude “Diversity” From Our Vocabulary?

It's about time some old white guy said it!

Ahead of International Women's Day on Saturday, March 8, let's take a look back at comments made by a certain Big 4 Chairman last year (no cheating, now):

When we talk about diversity globally, word choice can impede progress. In mature markets, people are often tired of talking about it — they have ‘diversity fatigue.’ In emerging markets, they don’t always believe diversity is relevant, because they see it as an ‘imported’ concept.

When we take ‘diversity’ out of the conversation, the essence of its meaning as a business driver becomes clear. It’s intuitively seen as vital to global growth and sustainability.

Ready to find out who said it?

In March of 2013, the PwC blog ran "Stop talking about diversity," a piece penned by Chairman Dennis Nally:

In this year’s Annual Global CEO Survey, CEOs cited their explicit focus on workforce diversity, including programmes to encourage diversity in the leadership pipeline. This is not surprising or new information. In our interdependent and volatile global economy, a variety of experiences and thinking styles are integral to success and provide some inoculation against uncertainty.

What I found compelling in this year’s survey is that CEOs have changed the conversation. They’ve framed diversity broadly using the vocabulary of growth and sustainability. I picked up three distinct themes in their responses that link business success with diversity, although they don’t explicitly mention diversity. I believe that discussing diversity implicitly — as an integral part of business and growth — will sustain momentum in the face of uncertain markets and help us to tap into the talent we desperately need.

Sooooo, for every one buzzword you remove from the vernacular, substitute two in its place? Got it, dude.


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