ACDiversity is hoping to establish a formal initiative with the Big Four, similar to a successful project already underway within the ‘magic circle’ of law firms.
Brenda King, chair of ACDiversity, conceded that the accountancy profession seemed more willing to accept ethnic minority graduates, but pointed to a need to address a glass ceiling.
‘What they find is the difficulty they have with progression, that’s where the difficulties lie,’ said King. She said firms should report how many accountants from ethnic minorities leave three to five years after qualification due to a lack of opportunity.
The charity is already working with KPMG and ACCA, and will face little opposition from Deloitte, Ernst & Young or PricewaterhouseCoopers. The Big Four has already established a forum to tackle the issue of diversity.
Discrimination across the profession is rife, with one in three respondents to the most recent Accountancy Age/Robert Half Accounting and Finance survey saying they had been the victims of discrimination. One in 10 who said they had suffered discrimination said it was on the grounds of race.
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