Wipfli committed an additional $50,000 to support non-profits and programs that are committed to increasing diversity and solving some of the social justice issues that affect both our industry and the world.
If you are like me, you have been watching the news surrounding the death of George Floyd with a range of emotions - astonishment, helplessness, anger, and uncertainty. There are long-standing injustices which this most recent tragedy brings to light. As your Managing Partner, allow me to say to my Black colleagues, my heart breaks with you and I see your pain, anger and sorrow. While I can’t relate to the fear and insecurity which is part of everyday life for our Black communities, I do hope we can come together to support each other and make the changes necessary to eliminate injustice caused by racial bias.
I signed the CEO Action pledge for diversity and inclusion about a year ago. One of the pledges I made for the firm was to initiate meaningful and sometimes difficult conversations and move outside our comfort zones. As individuals we must become more comfortable talking about bias. Wipfli will continue to grow in our understanding of bias and how it affects how we treat each other. I fully support Wipfli’s DEI (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion) mission. We successfully began Unconscious Bias training for partners and associates prior to the pandemic. We pledge to continue the journey and make the training available during and after the pandemic. Together, let us deepen our knowledge and learn to better understand each other.
I want to be clear, there is no place for racial bias and racism at Wipfli, the United States or the world – we can do better. Racial bias and the bias we have been learning about in our DEI journey affects both our personal and professional lives and negatively impacts business. I send this message to you because I believe we should all do our part to raise understanding and create change. As we navigate these difficult times, reach out to a colleague or client to see how they are doing. Listen to their perspective, their experiences and support them. Let us live our values and practice the Outward Mindset by embracing difficult conversations and supporting each other.
George Floyd’s death challenged us to ask if we were doing enough to address diversity and inclusion issues. As we work on changing our internal culture and reaching our DEI goals at Wipfli, we also believe it’s important to support and promote organizations that are committed to meaningful and lasting change in our industry and our society.