In an internal message to all firm members posted to LinkedIn Wednesday, Paul Knopp, KPMG U.S. Chair and CEO, wrote that the Big Four firm “does not tolerate discrimination, harassment or racism; and condemns all forms of violence and xenophobia,” speaking to the rise of violence against Asian-Americans during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Attacks against Asian Americans, especially the elderly, have increased in California and cities across the U.S. in recent days[,] and violence against members of the Pan-Asian community has continued to rise since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Knopp wrote. “All acts of hatred and bigotry are wrong. Consistent with our values and our diversity and inclusion principles, we want to reiterate our commitment to ensuring that KPMG is a place where all can thrive. This is core to who we are.”
The message was also shared by Laura Newinski, KPMG U.S. deputy chair and COO.
Knopp noted that the firm is a signatory of the Ascend COVID-19 5-Point Action Agenda, whose mission is to promote “inclusion and stand together in collaboration to address the adverse impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.” The Agenda’s five points are to:
- Promote Inclusion: Advocate for a diverse and inclusive workplace and society;
- Raise Awareness: Highlight the unique impacts of COVID-19 on vulnerable groups;
- Denounce Bias: Encourage individuals to report virus-linked discriminatory acts against Pan-Asians and other targeted groups and communities in the workplace and in public;
- Support Communities: Contribute time, knowledge and / or other resources to aid frontline workers, COVID-19 victims and families; and
- Give Donations: Provide funds and/or other resources to support vulnerable populations of people and impacted businesses.
“We will continue to speak up against acts of intolerance and racism against Pan-Asians and all people, and ensure we continue to foster an inclusive, safe environment for everyone,” Knopp added.
Knopp’s full statement is available on LinkedIn here.