By Michele Meyer-Shipp
As we celebrate the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King. Jr., and prepare to commemorate Black History Month, I am reminded of one of my favorite quotes by Dr. King:
“People fail to get along because they fear each other; they fear each other because they don’t know each other; they don’t know each other because they have not communicated with each other.”
Last month KPMG joined dozens of other organizations in kicking off a Day of Understanding to advance diversity and inclusion in the workplace by conducting facilitated discussions about our differences.
I am proud that professionals across nearly 90 KPMG offices took a bold step forward to get to know new colleagues and openly discuss our differences. While many admitted that their first foray into these discussions felt slightly uncomfortable, they suspended any fear and walked the path of talking and listening to each other, sharing their unique experiences, and discussing how the world impacts them differently. This dialogue is a very important step to creating and maintaining an inclusive culture.
In honor of Dr. King, let’s continue to get to know each other better. No matter where we work , whether we are long-time coworkers, new teammates, or passing acquaintances, let’s keep the conversations going and work to increase the understanding of, and appreciation for, our differences.
Michele Meyer-Shipp is Chief Diversity Officer of KPMG.