by Timothy F. Ryan
Originally published: June 12, 2017
It’s almost been a year since I found myself ― like the rest of the country ― gripped by the shooting deaths of black men in Baton Rouge and St. Paul, and of five police officers in Dallas.
I had just started my first few days as U.S. Chairman of PwC and had created a 100-day plan with a set of priorities. But after these tragic events and the mounting racial tension across the country, my plan went out the window. I knew I couldn’t expect our 50,000 employees to go to work, business as usual.
As a firm, our people were deeply impacted by these tragedies and I realized we had to address what was happening outside of our offices and in our communities. Barely a week into my new role, I decided to send a firm-wide email expressing my thoughts about what had happened. The responses I received were overwhelming—pain, fear, and isolation were common themes. We realized that we had to work through these emotions together, so PwC launched a series of firm-wide discussions on race in America. The conversations were not easy, but they were powerful. And I’m proud to say that we came out with a shared belief that as a country we could do better when it comes to diversity and inclusion.