Charleston, South Carolina (PressExposure) May 29, 2008 -- A new initiative addressing the lack of diverse personnel within the tax profession aims to stave off a potential shortage of corporate tax professionals at a time when government regulation and financial requirements of large corporations are increasing. Tony Santiago, owner of Tax Search, Inc. and TaxTalent.com, recently launched TaxDiversity.com, a collaborative tax profession project focused on improving the diversity of both minorities and women in the tax profession as the traditional white male population begins to retire in large numbers.
âAs a recruiting firm and industry resource, we saw a lack of diversity particularly among minorities in the tax profession, as well as a lack of women in senior leadership roles,â says Santiago. âWith the number of retirees increasing fast and a long retraining time required for new hires, we must reach out to all populations quickly or there could be dire consequences. While individual companies have developed certain initiatives, no one has stepped up to create a comprehensive plan encompassing the entire tax profession.â
In fact, a recent survey of U.S. tax professionals conducted by the company found that more than 68% said that racial diversity at the senior executive level within the tax profession was below average or poor, and nearly half said that the availability of support systems to promote diversity among tax professionals was below average or poor.
The center of the effort is TaxDiversity.com, a Web site where students and professionals can view job openings, participate in forums, read case studies, watch video commentary from successful minority tax professionals and more. The initiative will extend beyond the Web to reach out to minority colleges to educate undergraduates about the benefits of a tax career, set up scholarships, and provide mentors to those who are interested in the profession. The initiative will also open communication to help women break the barriers into senior positions. TaxDiversity.com will offer services designed to help organizations improve their companyâs diversity strategy.
The initiative has already attracted the support of many industry professionals and organizations that all have a vested interest in increasing the number of diverse workers. âThe fact remains that the tax profession is not fairly representative of the population. In fact, the population of non-white professionals at some meetings can sometimes be counted on one hand,â says Maurice Agresta, tax counsel and vice president of public affairs for United Parcel Service who moved to the U.S. from Italy at the age of 19. âI think itâs about time that we dedicate more time and efforts to this aspect of the profession.â
TaxDiversity.com is an initiative conceived by Tax Search, Inc. and TaxTalent.com Founder and Owner Tony Santiago to increase the number of individuals from underrepresented groups who choose to pursue a career in taxation. The multi-faceted effort centers around a Web site where visitors can interact, view diverse jobs and get additional information about the profession, but also includes outreach to undergraduates, dialogue throughout the profession and consulting services. For more information, visit http://www.taxdiversity.com.