Pivoting from understanding to action: How Plante Moran is creating an intentional culture of inclusion

Plante Moran DEI Leader Hawzien Gebremedhin is passionate about helping marginalized people of all backgrounds feel supported and empowered. Her “If not me, then who?” approach to life led her to become Plante Moran’s DEI leader. It also inspired her to create the Tigray Action Committee, a nonprofit organization committed to giving back and building awareness of the genocide happening in Tigray, Ethiopia, where she and her family emigrated from when she was just one year old.

Hawzien arrived at Plante Moran in 2021 on the heels of the racial reckoning that swept the nation the summer before. Although the firm had launched its DEI Council nearly 20 years earlier – before that was common practice among businesses – it was experiencing a rebirth, driven by passionate staff with a hunger for change and demonstrable progress.

While the firm will be the first to acknowledge that there’s still – and will always be – work to do, under Hawzien’s leadership, they’ve made significant strides. 

Hear how Plante Moran has pivoted from a “year of understanding” to a “year of action”; why they’re questioning the wisdom of “cultural fit” and leaning, instead, toward “cultural contribution”; and how they’re slowly, but deliberately, moving toward their aspirational ideal—a firm that values the unique identities and experiences of its staff, where everyone has an equitable and fair opportunity to succeed, and where every staff member can proudly say, “I know I belong here.” 

In this session, attendees will learn:

  • How to be more intentional and hold leadership accountable to create a For All culture in which all employees belong, contribute, and grow
  • How to leverage your employee resource groups to inform and influence DEI business strategies
  • How to integrate your DEI efforts into employee professional development and compensation