Fair360 2022 Top 50 Event: Fireside Chat With Accenture CEO Jimmy Etheredge

Accenture has participated in Fair360, formerly DiversityInc’s Top 50 survey for 16 years and has always done well, ranking at No. 2 on the list in 2021 and No. 1 this year. 

Before the company found out it was the No. 1 company at the Fair360, formerly DiversityInc Top 50 event on May 3 at Cipriani’s Wall Street, Fair360, formerly DiversityInc CEO Carolynn L. Johnson sat down with Accenture’s CEO of North America Jimmy Etheredge for a Fireside Chat during the evening portion of the event.

Fair360, formerly DiversityInc CEO Carolynn L. Johnson talks with Accenture CEO Jimmy Etheredge at the 2022 Fair360, formerly DiversityInc Top 50 event.

Johnson started out the conversation by asking Etheredge what diversity and inclusion mean to him and why it’s so important to the 200,000+ employees at Accenture. 

Etheredge shared that diversity, equity and inclusion have always been important to him and shared they have always been near and dear to his heart because he has a brother who is gay and so he’s always been active in the LGBTQ community. 

To prioritize these efforts at his company, he said Accenture has six core values. The two that are the most important to him are stewardship and respect for the individual. 

“That’s a lot of what has really encouraged me to do what I can as a leader and to use my personal platform,” he said. “I’ve got every privilege you can have. I’m a white cisgender male, I even still have all my hair in my 50s, so I know I have a responsibility to use that platform.” 

He added that it is important to have those core values in place and to carry them for Accenture’s people and its clients.

Jimmy Etheredge, CEO, Accenture

To hold the company accountable, Etheredge said the Fair360, formerly DiversityInc Top 50 survey is an important tool for the company. 

“It is so important to have that external validation of what you’re doing well and what things you need to improve on,” he said. 

Staying on-brand with this year’s theme, ESG: Climate + Culture at Risk, Etheredge said DEI and ESG belong in the same sentence together. When talking about driving value for clients, he said Accenture often sees the two coming together. 

A year and a half ago, Accenture introduced a 360 value to its clients which focused on the financial and diversity agenda for companies. In these conversations, Accenture asks questions such as:

  • What is [the diversity agenda] doing to help people be better off?
  • What is this doing for your ESG goals and sustainability?

He said Accenture’s people love helping clients “redefine what value means” to put diversity and ESG together. 

“They love that we’re not just focused on the financials, and for our clients, I think it builds trust with them,” he said. “When we talk about our goals, there’s transparency and that’s the basis of that.”

Watch the full conversation below!