Deloitte: A Case Study in Inclusive Leadership and Pro Bono
Taproot Foundation and Deloitte co-created Pro Bono + Inclusive Leadership as free resource for businesses that demonstrates how Deloitte has leveraged pro bono as one way to help develop inclusive leadership traits and how other companies can do the same.
Deloitte focuses on fostering an environment where everyone can connect, belong, and grow. The organization’s broad portfolio of pro bono service programs has emerged as a key driver in those efforts. Pro bono service is the centerpiece of Deloitte’s community impact strategy; the organization offers professionals the opportunity to participate in an array of offerings, ranging from an annual day of service to multi-week, team-based engagements to immersive international projects. Many of Deloitte’s pro bono initiatives align with broader employee development, engagement, and inclusion priorities at the organization, like bridging the veteran-civilian divide and diversifying workforce pipelines.
Deloitte has strategically aligned leadership roles at the organization to connect talent development, inclusion, and pro bono service. Patrick O’Donnell, Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer and principal for Deloitte & Touche LLP, and Dr. Kwasi Mitchell, Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer and principal for Deloitte Consulting LLP, each lead both DEI and pro bono efforts. “It’s been exciting to explore how this alignment between DEI and Corporate Citizenship can help us support more organizations that are building leaders from diverse backgrounds and build more empathetic, inclusive leaders within Deloitte,” Mitchell says.
Through this internal alignment, Deloitte targets the development of specific inclusive competencies among emerging leaders within their pro bono service programming—all while giving these professionals the chance to have a meaningful impact in the community. From the perspective of Deloitte’s Corporate Citizenship team, this linkage is crucial to maximizing shared value. “Pro bono uniquely complements corporate inclusion strategies, and if we explicitly cultivate that partnership, we’re not guessing about what value we drive—we’re working together to determine what it looks like,” says Doug Marshall, Managing Director of Corporate Citizenship for Deloitte Services LP. Empowering diverse voices to contribute their unique perspectives strengthens the organization by unearthing opportunities for decision-making and innovation. O’Donnell and Mitchell have both seen that partnership pay off, observing how pro bono service can build inclusive leadership traits. “Pro bono and skills-based volunteering projects provide Deloitte professionals with hands-on learning experiences that also amplify the inclusive leadership competencies they can—and do—bring to their work at the organization,” notes O’Donnell.