Kathy Hopinkah Hannan
Title: National Managing Partner, Diversity and Corporate Responsibility
Company: KPMG LLP
Corporate Headquarters: New York City, NY
Primary Business: Audit, tax and advisory services
Employees: 21,000 (US)
Vision of the Future
What diversity and inclusion challenges remain today?
One of the challenges facing diversity and inclusion will continue to be workforce readiness. That’s one of the reasons why KPMG believes diversity and corporate responsibility are intertwined, and, in establishing my role, brought together four pillars of corporate responsibility— citizenship, ethics, diversity, and environmental sustainability—creating a cohesive, integrated strategy that ultimately enables us to sustain our business.
If companies are going to have long-term access to a strong and diverse talent pool, we need to be part of the solution.
The gaps in workforce readiness are most evident among youth growing up in low-income homes. If companies are going to have long-term access to a strong and diverse talent pool, we need to be part of the solution. That means engaging our people in, and focusing our philanthropic efforts on, programs and initiatives to help ensure that every young person has the skills and opportunities he or she needs to be a valued and successful employee in the future.
What programs/initiatives work best for KPMG that other companies can benchmark?
We believe that a diverse pipeline strengthens our firm, so KPMG is very focused on the development of our leadership pipeline, beginning with the recruiting process and continuing through every level of an employee’s career. Programs like Future Diversity Leaders, for example, help us identify and mentor high-potential college freshman and sophomores, while our Key Accounts Rotation program targets our ethnically diverse associates to ensure that they receive the client exposure and experience they need to succeed.
Our Managing Career Life Choices program helps our senior associate women keep their careers on track, while our Leaders Engaging Leaders program establishes one-to-one mentoring relationships between our firm’s most senior leaders and our high-performing female and ethnically diverse partners, with the goal to prepare each mentee for a Top 200 leadership position in the firm.
When it comes to corporate responsibility, we focus our energies on issues that include childhood illiteracy. As an example, through KPMG’s Family for Literacy program, our employees, partners, interns, alumni, and their respective families have helped to put more than 1.5 million new books into the hands of children from low-income families.
What is your advice for diversity officers/managers who are just starting out in their positions?
My advice to new diversity officers is to remember that diversity is not only the right thing to do, but also a strategic business imperative. It provides very tangible benefits to your organization, including a deeper and more diverse talent pool; the ability to leverage broader perspectives, ideas, and experiences; and better alignment with the needs of your clients.