Earlier this month, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) conducted a Diversity Training course at the University of Southern California. According to a press release, the program was part of PwC’s recruiting efforts at the Marshall School of Business and Leventhal School of Accounting.
The training course — titled “Blind Spots: Challenging Assumptions to Build Inclusive Leaders” — was similar to what’s required of all PwC employees. Simply put, the seminar asked students to keep an open mind and challenge their own unconscious biases.
“How many of you have blind spots?” asked Angela Delgado, Talent Acquisition Diversity Director with PwC. “We’re trying to build the best leaders, and diversity in leadership is key to that.”
USC business school students learned that 90 percent of decisions happen in the unconscious mind and the unconscious beliefs people hold often do not align with their declared beliefs. Delgado explained that becoming aware of bias is the first step to fixing it.
“Studies show that businesses perform better with more diverse teams,” she said. “Making sure our staff understand their own unconscious bias and teaching them to slow down their thinking makes those teams more effective.”
This wasn’t the first time PwC has come to campus: Last year, the firm brought its Color Brave training to USC.
“Diversity issues are really important to us here at Marshall,” said Elaine Sommers, Senior Associate Director of the Marshall Career Services Office. “We recruit students from all over the world, so we need to facilitate discussions about diversity and biases to ensure that our graduates, the future leaders, bring that awareness to their organizations.”
While PwC’s accounting practice originated in London more than 100 years ago, today the company boasts a global network of more than 236,000 people in 158 countries. According to the firm, PwC’s professional services include audit and assurance, tax and consulting that cover such areas as cybersecurity and privacy, human resources, deals and forensics.
“We’re showing them who we are, what we’re living and breathing at PwC,” Delgado added. “It’s about creating a culture where all of our people have a voice and they can bring their whole selves to work. By getting comfortable with the uncomfortable, we can achieve better engagement with our staff and better work products for our clients.”
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