Rolling up our sleeves to drive change

The past two years have taught us that collectively building resilience makes a greater impact than working alone, especially when bringing forward systemic change. The pandemic and civil unrest caused many organizations to rethink their business and hiring strategies to reduce the likelihood that potential bias could impact workforce decision-making. Organizations have been incorporating more diversified perspectives in hiring, recruiting, training, and mentoring to bolster a more inclusive and equitable professional environment.

“As we look ahead, it’s crucial for us to find those opportunities to place women in the C-suite, as only 8 percent of women are occupying these leadership roles, regardless of industry,” said KPMG U.S. Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer Elena Richards.

KPMG employees and guests had the opportunity to reflect on some of these themes at the fifth annual International Women’s Day signature event hosted by the KPMG Women of Risk Community and the KPMG Network of Women. Panelists shared how they #BreakTheBias in their communities and professional networks and discussed how to leave a legacy with the new generation entering the workforce.

Vice Chair, Growth and Strategy Tandra Jackson introduced this year’s theme and called for all industries and organizations to cultivate space for women in the C-suite. The featured panelists shared ways to build an inclusive culture:

  • “We all have biases from our surroundings growing up, but we should always ask ourselves, ‘How do we break bias based on these prior experiences? From there, we can really change the natural bias that forms based on our perceptions of one another.’” – Elaine Rocha, Global Chief Investment Officer, AIG
  • “There is usually an archetype that comes with being an executive at Microsoft and because I’m more of a passive leader, people have questioned my authority based on toughness. ‘Is she tough enough for this role?’ From then on, I started setting examples of what leadership looks like, outside of the indoctrinated industry style.” – Grace Lao, Chief Procurement Officer, Microsoft
  • “As leaders, it’s more than just being an ally. We must take proactive measures to call out biased behavior if we see it. You can be polite in doing so, but it’s important to look out for one another and correct it.” – Kevin Bogle, Principal, Deal Advisory and Strategy, KPMG U.S.

As we return to the office, organizations are remodeling their part-time and hybrid working models to meet employee needs outside of operating hours. Respecting flexibility extends beyond the privilege of remote work; it is also about providing the resources that matter most and supporting self-advocacy.

It’s important for organizations to cultivate safe spaces where everyone can speak up to address gender parity and potential bias. Let’s roll up our sleeves and get to work.

To view the playback of the International Women’s Day event, please click here.

To learn more about the Women of Risk Community, click here.


Media Contact

Stephanie Trefcer

Stephanie Trefcer

Senior Associate, Communications, KPMG US

+1 201-505-6844



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