“I couldn’t be more proud of the VALOR members who continue to give back to Veterans in their local communities.” – Ed Stober

“Building and growing ENGs is a very purposeful journey based on a solid business case.” – Dara Castle

“I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished since the beginning of the firm’s CDI efforts.” – Kerensa Butler

“The ENGs are an inclusive, open platform to share interests and concerns.” – Shereen Agbebaku

“I get the chance to be who I am.” – Kara Lindsey

“We’re able to address issues that face our community together with others who share the same concerns.” – John Lee

“Being actively engaged with an ENG at RSM provides you with an opportunity to enhance your knowledge.” – Carlos Hernandez

“The relationships and connectivity I have formed through GENerations and even beyond GENerations with other ENG members and leaders has acted as a source of stability and support.” – Dan O’Brien

“It is incumbent upon each of us to invest in our own personal and professional development, because when we get better, our teams get better.” – Katie Schuhow

“Bonds with other people can be a source of happiness.” – Ed Bartak

“I have grown professionally and personally.  I have challenged my own thinking and that of those around me.” – Ayana Martinez

“Belonging to a group, we feel as if we are a part of something bigger and more important than ourselves.” – Shannel Clubb

The Internal Image

Our Inclusive Communities and Employee Network Groups

When RSM began its intentional culture, diversity and inclusion journey in 2014, we wanted to be sure that our actions and activities were meaningful to our people. That is why we launched 11 employee network groups (ENGs), creating a grassroots movement to advance culture and connectivity while creating spaces for people to belong. ENGs facilitate communication, provide education and serve as a source of community for their members.

When it comes to ENGs at RSM, all are welcome. As of FY 2020, nearly 50% of owners and employees belong to one or more ENGs, demonstrating that among the now 12 groups, we are creating environments of sharing, connecting, learning and perspective-taking for the different voices and experiences that make up our mosaic. We continue to encourage team members to get involved, knowing that their engagement strengthens our overall ability to deliver on diversity and inclusion.

AACE

  • AACE (African American and Canadian Excellence) enhances and nurtures an environment that supports RSM’s African American and Black professionals in their pursuit of professional excellence.

  • “Belonging to a group, we feel as if we are a part of something bigger and more important than ourselves,” said Shannel Clubb, AACE national leader and leader for RSM’s insurance management consulting practice. “Bonds with other people can be a source of happiness.” RSM encourages team members to get involved in ENGs, she added, because they know the groups are crucial to the firm's culture.

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Abilities

  • Abilities fosters an environment that supports professionals with disabilities, and/or those who have family members, loved ones or special connections to those with special needs, as they build their careers.

  • Ayana Martinez, our Abilities national leader, credits engagement between ENGs and RSM as a driver of policy change like increased access to career opportunities. For Ayana, who is a senior manager in the Washington National Tax and International Tax Services groups and serves as RSM’s international tax lead for tax reform, ENGs influence more than corporate inner workings. “I am provided coaching directly by or through observation of our firm's leaders, including RSM board members and national practice leaders. I have grown professionally and personally. I have challenged my own thinking and that of those around me.”

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Alumni

  • RSM’s Alumni Network fosters connections between current and former RSM professionals and helps former colleagues stay connected to the firm with the goal of helping them succeed in their careers and the profession.

  • Ed Bartak, a tax partner in Kansas City, Missouri, and national leader of the recently formed RSM Alumni Network, says a strong alumni program shows that people care about you, your career and your future—whether at the firm or not. He describes his former co-workers as true friends who have shared challenges and solved problems together. “In the market, I’ve been rewarded by staying connected with fellow RSMers. It’s great to be a part of that club and helps each person find greatness.”

Family First

  • Family First is an active voice navigating shared family challenges and promoting an inclusive, respectful workplace.

  • Katie Schuhow, private equity partner, represents the Family First ENG, and says that the experience has made her realize the importance of work and life intersecting in a way that allows employees to thrive, both at work and at home. “It is incumbent upon each of us to invest in our own personal and professional development, because when we get better, our teams get better.” She notes the resources RSM provides Family First by way of financial and people support translates to walking the walk and talking the talk.

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Generations

  • Generations provides enrichment through connections across all experience levels and lines of business, from the newest millennial to the most seasoned partner.

  • Dan O'Brien, learning and professional development director, CEO Action for Racial Equity fellow and Generations national leader, credits his participation in the Generations ENG as what re-recruited him to RSM on several occasions and helped him hone skills and competencies. “The relationships and connectivity I have formed through GEN and with other ENG members/leaders have acted as a source of stability and support. It allows you to go somewhere that you can let your walls down and just be your authentic self and not worry about any type of judgment.” He recommends that all future leaders make time to lead an ENG, to build relationships, challenge their beliefs and get smarter in understanding issues that work for positive change.

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¡HOLA!

  • ¡HOLA! hosts networking activities, focuses on mentoring and helps Hispanic-Latino professionals excel.

  • Carlos Hernandez, health care audit partner and ¡HOLA! national leader, expresses gratitude for the opportunities to mentor RSM team members through ¡HOLA!. Leaders from the top down have shown Carlos their ongoing commitment to CDI, which he calls powerful. “Being actively engaged with an ENG at RSM provides you with an opportunity to enhance your knowledge on diversity, provides an opportunity to expand your network—inside and outside the firm—and provides you with the tools needed to address clients’ questions and concerns pertaining to how we are addressing diversity within the firm.” 

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InspirAsian

  • InspirAsian engages the firm’s Asian professionals in career development opportunities and cultural events to help raise awareness of diversity and inclusiveness.

  • National InspirAsian Leader John Lee believes that with all the noise surrounding us today, ENGs are more important now than ever. A partner and national U.S. tax services leader at RSM Canada, he noted how COVID-19 has shifted the working environment, and ENGs help address the emotional and mental wellbeing of RSM team members. “In some ways, it has made our firm a smaller and more intimate place. We’re able to address issues that face our community together with others who share the same concerns.”

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Interfaith

  • Interfaith celebrates and enriches the understanding of faith in the workplace with members who represent many faiths, including Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Jewish and Hindu.

  • Noting that her faith is a huge part of her, Kara Lindsey, Interfaith ENG member and RSM talent acquisition manager, appreciates being able to educate herself on other religions and share hers with others. “It has helped me to become a more active employee and feel included and valued. I get the chance to be who I am.” She credits ENGs at RSM as examples of our “power of being understood” brand promise, creating experiences in which team members can connect with new faces and learn to understand their feelings and beliefs.

Multicultural

  • Multicultural ENG supports individuals with multicultural backgrounds and experiences, educates others on different cultures represented within our firm and around the world, and explores opportunities to learn about colleagues’ experiences that might differ from their own.

  • It was being part of the Multicultural ENG that Shereen Agbebaku, manager of global compliance and reporting services and Multicultural national leader, says allowed her to be her authentic self at work every day. “The ENGs are an inclusive, open platform to share interests and concerns. You don’t have to consider yourself aligned to an ENG to join. Membership is for everyone. It’s about creating awareness and education...to allow for a more inclusive environment at work.” She values ENGs for their ability to drive change, help people navigate challenges and shape firm policy. 

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Pride

  • Pride supports LGBT+ employees and owners, clients and allies through recruitment, retention and business activity alignment with LGBT+ organizations.

  • Kerensa Butler, office leader for both the Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and West Palm Beach, Florida, offices and Pride national leader, notes that ENGs, particularly Pride, have given team members common community and connection. “I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished since the beginning of the firm’s CDI efforts. We have changed the firm, its leaders, its people, its clients and its community, all for the better. RSM is a better corporate citizen today than it was just five-10 years ago.” Kerensa describes ENGs as spaces where members can speak in shared slang and share in common beliefs, issues or concerns, as well as spaces that renew spirits and create understanding.

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STAR

  • STAR (Stewardship and Teamwork for the Advancement and Retention of women) network connects all RSM employees and owners interested in issues that affect women in the workplace.

  • Dara Castle, the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area offices market leader and the national leader of RSM’s government contracting practice, leads STAR and describes her amazement at the number of passionate leaders and professionals at RSM who commit to helping STAR ENG achieve its mission. As the group of hundreds has grown to nearly 3,000, Dara encourages her co-workers to stretch their comfort zones and use their curiosity to learn about others. “Building and growing ENGs is a very purposeful journey based on a solid business case... one that directly affects our ability to grow faster, achieve higher profits, innovate more, create happier clients and talent and, ultimately, deliver the power of being understood.”

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VALOR

  • VALOR (Veterans and Allies Leading OutReach) focuses on recruitment, community service, leadership development and business development of our military service members.

  • Ed Stober, director at RSM US Wealth Management and the national leader for the VALOR ENG, credits RSM’s senior leaders for embracing the vision of CDI and dedicating people and financial resources. “I couldn’t be more proud of the VALOR members who continue to give back to veterans in their local communities and help us continuously work to develop an increasingly inclusive organization. ENGs expand your RSM network, help you develop meaningful relationships and have some fun doing it.”

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