Diverse perspectives. Deeper insights.

Inclusion at BDO starts the way everything at BDO starts: with relationships. Our history of inclusion, building teams with a wide range of backgrounds and perspectives has made our company a better place to work, and made us better at what we do. As a company dedicated both to industry excellence and the well-being of our employees, BDO is deeply committed to fostering workplace inclusion across all dimensions.

Messages from BDO Leadership

A Message From BDO USA CEO Wayne Berson

The deaths of George Floyd and so many other Black Americans, and the social unrest that has followed, have laid bare the profound and complex issue of race relations in our country. At the same time, the COVID-19 pandemic continues to ravage the world around us—claiming countless lives and wreaking havoc on our families, our communities, our economies, and many of the simple pleasures we once took for granted. In this moment, as we navigate these two crises, our role as a firm is clear: we must support our people, we must support our clients and we must make a positive impact on our communities.

At BDO, our values are rooted in the way we treat one another. We have always said that our business, at its core, isn’t about clients won or dollars accounted for. It’s about helping people thrive. And today, we all need to help – help support one another, help reset, help spur change. 

Over the past several weeks, I, along with other BDO leaders, conducted listening sessions with professionals across our firm and with members of BDO’s Multicultural Alliance. We sought to understand more about the experiences of Black professionals at BDO and how we can strengthen the firm’s culture of diversity and inclusion.

What we heard underscored that each of our professionals has been touched by these concurrent crises in profound, yet uniquely personal ways. As we confront the systemic racism in America, and re-examine our own beliefs and biases, many are eager to help bring about the change they’d like to see. At the same time, questions about health and safety, finances, education, travel, and other important aspects of life persist, and have heightened already elevated levels of stress and anxiety.

After careful reflection, BDO’s leadership team felt it was necessary to collectively step back from our daily work to take stock of the historic change we are experiencing as a global community.

On August 21, BDO is taking a Day to Recharge and Reflect. Business will be closed for the day in order to provide our people with the time and space to do what will be most meaningful and valuable to them—whether that is taking time to learn more about the antiracism movement, participating in a community service project focused on advancing social justice, or practicing much-needed self-care.

I plan to use this day to reflect on the history of injustices against the Black community and explore how I can best help foster a culture of even greater tolerance and acceptance. I know I speak for the entire BDO Executive Team when I say that we are steadfastly committed to that goal. We have long been dedicated to creating an inclusive culture at BDO. We’ve made progress, but we know we must do much more.

Recent events have made us critically examine our role in the current system of racial injustice — as well as our potential to be part of the solution. We are working hard to build on the progress we’ve already made, by implementing a more robust and sustainable strategy that is consistent with our culture of empowerment, excellence, empathy, innovation and accountability.

In the days and months ahead, we will be examining BDO’s recruitment, hiring and mentoring practices; increasing awareness and dialogue on issues of social and racial justice; and facilitating more open and ongoing communication around our goals so we can continue to share ideas and learn from one another. We are taking a thoughtful and collaborative approach to incorporating input — and sharing accountability — across the firm, including at the highest levels of leadership. We are committed to extending these efforts beyond just our firm, to include a focus on advancing social justice in the communities in which we live and work.

We must do this not only because it will help us continue to fulfill our core purpose of Helping People Thrive Every Day, but also because it is simply the right thing to do.

I am excited about the ideas and insight that will come out of our Day to Recharge and Reflect. I look forward to continuing to explore and build on them in the days ahead. I am confident that we will return to work with renewed strength and purpose, knowing that this day marked the beginning of a future where we all do better.

We stand with the Black community and promise to do our part to end racial injustice. We choose humanity over hatred and empathy over apathy. On June 2, BDO USA CEO Wayne Berson sent the following message to all BDO employees.

Like so many of you, I’ve spent the last few days attempting to grapple with recent events — the unfathomable death of George Floyd and far too many others, the clashes between protestors and police across the country — all while the COVID-19 pandemic continues to disproportionally impact people of color and threaten us all. The injustices facing the Black community are intolerable and deeply troubling. As a country, we are facing a frightening discord that has shaken us all to our core.
Having grown up during apartheid in South Africa, I am all too familiar with the dangers and disastrous effects of inequality and persecution based on the color of one’s skin. For this reason, I long ago made a commitment to myself to do what I can to break down the barriers that divide us and prevent us from reaching the shared greatness we are capable of.    
The issues we face as a nation are deep and profound, but we must work together to make a difference. At BDO, we have always been a community with zero tolerance for discrimination and racism. We are anchored in our core purpose — helping people thrive every day. It is this foundation, along with our core values, that we must turn to in order to help us address the ongoing challenges we face. They are particularly poignant in times of uncertainty and unrest.
We need always remember why we are here — to help people flourish and succeed. This is our mandate — one that demands unity, respect, inclusivity, integrity and care. It is our job to take care of ourselves, to take care of each other and to hold one another to a high standard. Our BDO community is built on these values and must continue to promote diversity and inclusion by breaking down silos and valuing diverse voices, thoughts and backgrounds. We must apply this approach to strengthen our world.  
We don’t have all the answers and know we have a great deal more to do. But we are a firm, a culture and a community that is not content to sit still — when we see things are broken, we want to fix them. Change starts in our own offices, in our own homes and in our communities. Small changes can lead to sweeping change that transforms our world. We must do this together. Living our purpose demands we choose humanity over hatred and empathy over apathy. Let us help create a world that celebrates our differences rather than shuns them.
As my fellow countryman and great civil rights leader Nelson Mandela once said:
“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”
Wayne Berson, on behalf of the BDO Executive Team