Each Person, Each Voice, Each Idea
Throughout my 30 years of accounting experience, I’ve seen companies increasingly rely on diverse, multidisciplinary teams of women and men, people of different ethnicities and background, and younger and older workers. This diversity creates a valuable dynamic, increasing opportunities to individuals and profitability to business. It’s more important than ever to learn and create awareness of inclusion. I believe in having a purpose and creating value in everything I do because it takes energy, deliberate effort, and continued assessment to create and maintain an inclusive culture.
Early in my career, I saw the power of taking the time to make personal connections, and understand what makes each individual unique and what value looks like to them. Showing an open mindset, being curious, and listening without judgment create an environment where all backgrounds and ideas count and contribute to personal and professional development. And I thrive on helping individuals professionally grow and succeed.
Through the understanding gained from these connections, I feel a responsibility to support networking and mentoring opportunities to leverage relationships that will benefit the individual’s growth. I credit my personal and professional coaches and mentors over the years for offering advice and direction. They empowered me to identify my uniqueness, giving me the confidence to join the boards of directors of nonprofit organizations in my 20s, becoming a partner in my 30s, and holding leadership roles at a great firm in my 40s and 50s. I’ve also had the good fortune to work with extremely talented colleagues.
Collaboration with inclusion is one of the most compelling lessons I’ve learned—it’s not one or the other.
The result is high-performing teams that create exceptional client experiences because they are connected and engaged. This, in turn, drives continued learning and development, which advances opportunities. And, while recognizing team success is important, acknowledging each member by name and thanking them for their specific contribution is a critical characteristic of inclusive leadership—as it perpetuates an inclusive culture where each voice counts.
What I’ve learned is that inclusive leadership is the key to fostering a culture that values each person, each voice, and each idea. With an increasingly diverse workforce, I believe everyone should strive to be an inclusive leader, and I plan to continue to help and inspire others to value and use their strengths to treat others respectfully and fairly, promoting a sense of value and belonging.