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DEI, Racism & Prejudice in Accounting with Anton Lewis

Episode 108. In today’s interview, “Challenging Prejudice in Accounting with Anton Lewis.”

Anton Lewis is a tenured Associate Professor of Accounting at Valparaiso University, Indiana, where he primarily teaches undergraduate financial accountancy and managerial accountancy, as well as undergraduate Audit and Accounting Information Systems classes. He also hosts the ‘Counting Black and White Beans Podcast’ and makes monthly guest appearances on the NPR Radio Show Regionally Speaking (links below).

You can also check out his previous interview on the show “Critical Race Theory & Black Accountants with Anton Lewis” here:

https://accountinginfluencers.captivate.fm/episode/critical-race-theory-black-accountants-with-anton-lewis

Key takeaways from this episode include:

✓ the reasons why there are not more black accountants, particularly in the UK and USA

✓ why it is hard to question any racial inequalities in the accountancy profession

✓ the differences between structural racism in accounting and in individual people

✓ how institutional racism manifests in the accounting profession

✓ what everyday racism and micro-aggression looks like in accountancy practices

✓ whether women, blacks, LGBTQ+ and other minorities must work ‘that much harder’ for parity in accounting

✓ how the ‘sapphire stereotype affects women and ethnic minorities in accounting

✓ the problems inherent in talking about ‘whiteness’ and white supremacy in accountancy

✓ what happens to marginalised, disenfranchised, stigmatised ethnic, gender or other groups in accounting firms

✓ defining the key terms in DEI – diversity, equity, and inclusion from accounting perspectives

✓ the best measures or evidence of how accounting practices value people and DEI

✓ examining whether 50% of accountants should be women if 50% of the population are women

✓ the difference between equality of outcome and quality of attainment in accounting firms

✓ the distinction between equality and equity in the DEI policies of accountancy practices

✓ what needs to happen for true inclusion and diversity in the accounting profession

✓ how accounting as a profession has not succeeded in giving representation to many groups and individuals

✓ the dangers of ‘getting stuck in the weeds’ of DEI terminology for the accountancy profession

✓ the problems caused by accounting firms and leaders treating DEI as a ‘tick box’ or ‘checkbox’ exercise

✓ translating ‘one man’s freedom fighter is another man’s terrorist’ to the accounting DEI agenda and discrimination

✓ why asking ‘how many black accountants is enough’ is the wrong question for proper DEI in accounting

✓ how DEI policy making is difficult for accounting firm leaders given benchmarking and targets are hard to quantify

✓ whether anything will change for blacks, women and other minorities in accounting (why even bother?)

✓ how accountants themselves can assess whether they have any underlying racist or prejudicial attitudes

✓ where DEI and fostering change truly starts in accounting firms and the profession at large

✓ why there is hope in these challenging times for accounting as a profession to make the necessary DEI changes

In his spare time, Anton like to cook. As a qualified pastry chef who has cooked in France and in restaurants and hotels in England, he loves making all kinds of tarts and cakes. His other culinary passion is Indian/Pakistani Balti cuisine – he has been known to cook the odd Indian Feast. He is married to wife Kathy and has 3 young children. You can connect to him here:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/dr-anton-lewis-216ab170

https://twitter.com/Antonlws

https://www.instagram.com/alewis_justice

Podcast: https://blackandwhitebeans.libsyn.com/?_ga=2.234123294.1238878791.1645043266-302157601.1625785609

NPR Radio Show Regionally Speaking: https://www.lakeshorepublicradio.org/show/regionally-speaking/2022-02-08/regionally-speaking-february-8-2022

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