Shannon Schuyler, chief purpose and inclusion officer at PwC US, talks about how diversity and inclusion are integral to leading responsibly in today's business world.
Shannon Schuyler: [0:15] For PwC, when we look at responsible business leadership, that's our really elevated corporate responsibility. As we focus on corporate responsibility and what we really give back to society, that's about giving people a voice who don't have one.
[0:27] When you think about diversity and inclusion, that's what diversity's about. It's making sure that we can give back to those individuals who need that extra effort in order to help them given what society has done, and given really the systemic degradation of different racial groups. We have to make sure that those things come together, what we do for the community as well as what we do for those actual individuals in the community.
[0:48] One of the things that we do a lot at the PwC is hire amazing graduates who come into our environment and have these great skills. The skills that they don't have enough of is really the understanding that they're going to be working alongside people who are very different than they are, people who have different skills and different backgrounds, but also different races, different religions.
[1:07] We don't necessarily see people having that understanding when they come from schools into our workforce. One of the things that we think is really important is to work very closely with schools to say, "How can that come apart of what students actually learn, which is just as important as any technical skill so that by the time they come into the business world, they already have that acumen, and they can work better, and they can work more successfully."
[1:30] We have done a lot with CEO Action for Diversity and Inclusion. That was an effort really started by CEOs to say, "What are the things that we need to do within our own workforce is really change the landscape." One of the areas was reaching out to colleges and universities and saying, "Join the effort." We have about 80 that are there.
[1:48] When we look at what some of them have done, some of them have curriculum that it's mandated as part of the elective process, but really look to teach people and to have them understand their blindspots, have them understand what it means to be a part of Mike Rowan equities, and what does it mean to have privilege.
[2:05] Some schools have gone there, and we've seen a real difference in those students being prepared and being able to really effectively work within a work environment.
Filmed February 2020 at AACSB's Deans Conference in Nashville, Tennessee, USA.