Drive for Diversity and Inclusion

Diversiy, Equity, & Inclusion
CalCPA is actively promoting a climate of inclusivity as we build a community of belonging. Join us as advocates of authenticity, acceptance, awareness and action.

Shared Vision

The CalCPA Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Commission’s (CDEIC) shared vision for the future is one in which CalCPA reflects the diversity of the broader accounting and finance profession, and that all CalCPA stakeholders are valued and included equitably.


The purpose of the CDEIC is to:

  • Embrace DE&I as drivers of satisfaction, engagement as well as organizational resilience, innovation, value and growth > grow societal value of CalCPA and the profession.
  • Serve as a DE&I thought leader, advocate and resource for members, staff and partners while tapping into the worldwide DE&I body of knowledge and the collective experiences of CalCPA members, staff and partners > grow stakeholder value.
  • Recommend and help execute on (where relevant) strategies, approaches, programs, services, and research that will help CalCPA better leverage DE&I as a competitive advantage, develop pipelines of future leaders and members, cultivate diverse and inclusive professional staff, attract partners who follow DE&I best practices, and lead the accounting and finance profession of the future > grow organizational value.

“Diversity is a business reality and necessary to be effective and competitive in this new global economy.” - Kathy Johnson, Chair of the CalCPA Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Commission.

As CalCPA’s first African American chair, Johnson is embracing her unique position to “inspire young minorities to give them an opportunity to see themselves as a CPA and a leader in the largest state society of CPAs.”

In order to provide proper context around Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I) in the workplace, generally accepted definitions of these terms are provided as context:

Any dimension that can be used to differentiate groups and people from one another. It means respect for and appreciation of differences across many dimensions, including the visible/tangible and invisible/intangible. These dimensions can be visible/tangible (e.g., ethnicity, age, gender) as well as invisible/intangible (e.g., thoughts, perspective, experiences, belief systems, faith, culture, sexual orientation). As a source and driver of innovation, a focus on diversity has also been shown to lead to positive outcomes, innovation, resilience and value in business and in society.

Equity is promoting justice, impartiality and fairness within the procedures, processes, and distribution of resources by organizations. Tackling equity issues requires an understanding of the root causes of outcome disparities within our society.

Inclusion is a state of being valued, respected and supported. It’s about focusing on the needs of every individual and ensuring the right conditions are in place for each person to achieve his or her full potential. Inclusion should be reflected in an organization’s culture, practices and relationships that are in place to support a diverse workforce.

Featured Resources


California CPA Articles

Drive for Diversity and Inclusion

Presenting career options to students and preparing them for a successful future are key factors in building a stronger tomorrow for both the students and the businesses that employ them. Additionally, a diverse and inclusive workforce is necessary for businesses to remain relevant and competitive. To address these matters, CalCPA Institute has launched a Diversity & Inclusion High School Outreach Initiative. The goals of the program are to:

  • Raise awareness of the CPA profession among underrepresented and underserved student populations;
  • Connect students with local universities with accounting programs;
  • Foster relationships between students and local CPA firms;
  • Increase the number of high school students who decide to pursue accounting as a college major and seek CPA licensure; and
  • Bring financial literacy education to the classroom.
  • Explore the many opportunities that a career in accounting can offer.

  Explore the many opportunities that a career in accounting can offer

Request an Accounting Professional to Visit Your School

As a school administrator, or teacher, you’re preparing students for a successful future through your efforts in the classroom. As an organization of accounting professionals, CalCPA also has an interest in helping students prepare for a successful future. Our member volunteers are available to speak about opportunities and pathways in accounting careers and financial literacy in your school. To learn more about how we can make an impact in your classroom, please complete this form.

Resources for Educators

Volunteer to help raise awareness of the many career paths an accounting degree can grant a student by presenting in a classroom. Your participation also grows the accounting profession at the ground level.

Whether you think diversity is good for your own business, good for the profession in general or you simply want to inspire young minorities in your area, please volunteer. By doing so, you will be making a difference!

Understanding the client’s culture and decision process is important in forming business relationships, which is why it’s key to increase the number of minorities entering the accounting profession, particularly in California. Help build the pipeline by offering tours to local high school students and providing opportunities to learn from staff about their day-to-day experiences applying accounting concepts. This partnership will provide high school students with connections to local CPA firms to expose students to a professional working environment, as well as teach them how concepts learned in the classroom apply to real life business situations and decisions. For more information please contact David Lo.

If you would be interested in hosting our participating high school students for a classroom visit or campus tour, please contact David Lo.

Quick Links

Free Membership for
Students and Educators.

CDEIC Members

Kathy Johnson

CDEIC Vice Chair
David Neighbors

CDEIC Staff Liaison
Heather Collins

CDEIC Special Assistant
Cheryl Smith

CDEIC Members

Rob Blasi

Shannon Nash

Kristen Contreras

David Neighbors

Abimbola (Bim) Famuyiwa

Charlie Osaki

Denise Froemming

Esther Phahla

Osvaldo Gutierrez

George Pinto

Harsh Jadhav

Okorie Ramsey

Rosa Kuybus

Jason Shreve

Matt Martin

Patricia Williams

Alejandro Mendez

March 2023

Important dates
  • Employee Appreciation Day March 3
    All day
  • Purim (Jewish) March 6
    All day
  • International Women’s Day March 8
    All day
  • Holi (Hindu) March 8
    All day
  • Neurodiversity Celebration Week March 13-19
    All day
  • Equal Pay Day March 15
    All day
  • St. Patrick’s Day March 17
    All day
  • International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination March 21
    All day
  • World Down Syndrome Day March 21
    All day
  • Ramadan begins (Islam) March 22
    All day
  • International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade March 25
    All day
  • International Transgender Day of Visibility March 31
    All day
Month-long observances
  • Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month
  • Gender Equality Month
  • Greek-American & Irish-American Heritage Month
  • National Women’s History Month
  • Deaf History Month begins