How One Firm’s Purpose Is Accelerating Diversity At Work—And Beyond

The following comments from Paul Knopp, chair and chief executive officer of KPMG U.S., have been lightly edited for clarity and length.

Celebrating Women’s Accomplishments

Seven years ago, KPMG became the title sponsor of the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, with a vision to elevate women, both on and off the golf course. Since then, every championship has been played at a world-class venue with network television coverage, providing major exposure in top markets for the best female golfers in the world to showcase their talents—while featuring one of the top purses on the LPGA Tour. I am proud that KPMG plays a part in spotlighting and highlighting the impressive achievements of female golfers. 

As part of our long-term commitment to elevate the game of women’s golf, we introduced a new game-changing solution for the LPGA Tour called KPMG Performance Insights. It brings KPMG’s industry-leading business capabilities in the data and analytics space to bear in order to provide the LPGA players with access to advanced data and stats to help them improve their performance, just like what the PGA Tour players have had at their disposal for many years.

Advancing Women To The C-Suite

In conjunction with the golf championship, we host the KPMG Women’s Leadership Summit, an initiative focused on moving more women into the C-suite. To date, nearly half of past Summit participants have been promoted, including 20% to the C-suite. We’re proud to play a part in the journey of these women.

Proceeds from the Championship and the Summit fund the KPMG Future Leaders Program, a charitable initiative focused on developing diverse, future generations of women leaders through college scholarships, mentoring and leadership development. To date, we have awarded $3.5M in scholarships to 122 recipients. To inspire greatness, we must all commit to being the change and standing united in our resolve to work for a more diverse, equitable and inclusive tomorrow. 

Accelerating A More Diverse Future

I’m passionate about creating a best-in-class culture, with a significant focus on diversity, advancing equity and inclusion within KPMG and the broader profession. For this reason, on the first day of my tenure as chair and CEO, we launched Accelerate 2025—our firm-wide commitment to understand the lived and shared experiences that our Black talent and all underrepresented groups have in navigating the workplace, to identify barriers, pain points and biases that may influence and impact moments that matter for our people. Through Accelerate 2025, we remain focused on our commitment to attract, retain and advance underrepresented talent at KPMG.

We know that a diverse, inclusive and supportive working environment is imperative for our people to thrive and deliver excellent work to our clients. We will advance this collective commitment through bold leadership, values-driven actions and strong accountability.

Accountability Drives Change

I’ve reflected a great deal on my purpose as a leader as defined by KPMG’s purpose: “Inspire confidence. Empower change.” At this moment in time, I’m convinced that I need to flip that sentiment. I know that I cannot expect to inspire confidence until I follow through on my commitment to empower change. From the moment I announced Accelerate 2025, I asked the 33,000 professionals and partners who make up our U.S. firm to hold me accountable. 

Accountability, the single most important driver of real change, forces us to have difficult conversations and to answer difficult questions. It can mean admitting that the road ahead will be longer than we wish it was, but accountability keeps us honest and keeps us moving forward. Our recent DEI Transparency Report is a big step in measuring our progress and holding us accountable. 

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