5 Biggest News Stories of the Week: February 23

As the saying goes, the news never stops. In this weekly news roundup, we’ll cover the top news stories impacting American workplaces and communities.

1. KPMG Launches Scholarship Tax Program for Underrepresented Students

KPMG (No. 11 on DiversityInc’s 2022 Top 50 Companies for Diversity list) announced a Tax Scholarship Program to help students from underrepresented communities get their master’s in tax/accounting from a higher education institution of their choice. 

In a recent survey from the company, C-level executives indicated they are seeing more people from underrepresented groups pursue accounting degrees. 

Recipients of the scholarship will receive $40,000 toward a master’s degree at their school of choice. They will also gain access to mentorship and coaching through the KPMG Tax Network and could be eligible for part-time internships with KPMG Tax while pursuing their degree. After graduation, graduates will begin their careers as full-time employees with KPMG Tax. 

“Creating a more diverse, equitable and inclusive workforce is mission critical,” said Greg Engel, Vice Chair, Tax, KPMG LLP. “Our Tax Scholarship Program is a perfect example of how KPMG is prioritizing tangible solutions that create more opportunities for diverse talent to enter and succeed in our profession. A more balanced workforce will lead to an improved culture and a more profitable business.”

2. Accenture CEO Appointed to Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta’s Board of Directors

Accenture North America (No. 1 on DiversityInc’s 2022 Top 50 Companies for Diversity list) CEO Jimmy Etheredge has been appointed to the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta’s Board of Directors. He will fill a term that began on Jan. 25, 2023 and expires on Dec. 31, 2025 as a Class C Director. 

Etheredge is also a board member of the Metro Atlanta Chamber, the Global Apprenticeship Network and TechBridge. 

3. Long COVID and Asking for Workplace Accommodations

In some cases, long COVID can be considered a disability, according to the Americans with Disabilities Act, which has led some to seek accommodations within the workplace. And while between 7.7 million and 23 million people in the U.S. have long COVID, some have found it’s not easy to ask for workplace support. 

The effects of long COVID vary from person to person, but symptoms usually appear as fatigue that worsens with exertion, cognitive impairment, nervous system dysfunction and immune system issues. 

Felicia Nurmsen, a managing director at the National Organization on Disability, told The Wall Street Journal that people often wait too long to ask for workplace accommodations and then start having performance issues. Nurmsen herself has long COVID and said she turned to online support groups when figuring out accommodation needs for herself. 

“Employment attorneys and other disability experts say workers should consider their individual situation when deciding whether to disclose a disability and ask for accommodations,” WSJ wrote. “They can make a request orally or in writing, and who they contact first is also up to them. Some people might feel more comfortable talking to their manager directly, while others might believe their HR department will better understand ADA law.”

4. Former Mastercard CEO Nominated as World Bank President

Former Mastercard (No. 2 on DiversityInc’s 2022 Top 50 Companies for Diversity list) CEO Ajay Banga has been nominated by President Joe Biden to become President of the World Bank. He was nominated for his business experience in India, which is where he’s from, and for his efforts to deploy private funds to increase financial inclusion and help developing countries combat climate change. 

The World Bank is expected to replace its current President Dave Malpass in early May. 

In a statement, Biden said: “Ajay is uniquely equipped to lead the World Bank at this critical moment in history. Raised in India, Ajay has a unique perspective on the opportunities and challenges facing developing countries and how the World Bank can deliver on its ambitious agenda to reduce poverty and expand prosperity.”

5. The PhD Project Announced PAC-15 Advisory Council

The PhD Project this month announced a new advisory council called PAC-15. The council is made up of 15 people who will provide guidance to the organization as it considers new partnerships and programs and act as a “sounding board for The PhD Project as it executes its strategy,” according to a news release. 

The 15 committee members include three members from five discipline associations and “represents the diversity of The PhD Project’s membership by ethnicity/race and gender.”

“The business world is evolving, and The PhD Project must evolve with it to support the growing need to diversify the U.S. workforce,” Blane Ruschak, President of The PhD Project, said in a statement. “This group will help us keep a pulse on what our members need, share the trends they’re seeing in higher education, help craft our response to those trends and other societal events, and assist with any other issues they or we identify.”


Join Our Newsletter

Get the top DEI news delivered straight to your inbox