Black Lives Matter

July 2020

We asked the accountancy bodies for their reaction to the events of recent weeks in the US, here in the UK and around the global…


Mark Farrar, CEO: As an organisation we truly believe in valuing equality, diversity and inclusion, and actively support positive change in these areas.

What happened to George Floyd has highlighted that things are not changing quickly enough, and this is not acceptable. The Black Lives Matter movement has highlighted that we all need to do more and we all need to take responsibility.

I recognise that I and we as AAT can and should do more. I am passionate about ensuring our staff, students and members all have equal opportunity to succeed.

As an accountant I was trained in numbers,
and our numbers tell me we can do better on
this specific topic.

We are continuing to explore what this means for us at AAT in terms of actions, measures and impacts. AAT has an active Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity (EDI) staff group and they are already planning events throughout the year.

We’ve also recommended that our staff get involved with EDI group activity so we can all get behind this movement and make sure that we, as an organisation, are helping to lead the way.

The events of recent days remind us that we cannot look the other way.


ACCA statement: The tragic events of recent weeks and the Black Lives Matter protests across the world are an urgent reminder that inequality, racism, and bias still pervade much of our society, and that much more must be done to address this and champion inclusion and diversity.

Since our founding days, inclusion has been at the heart of ACCA and central to our values, our behaviours, and our future as an organisation.

While ACCA has crossed boundaries to build bridges we, like countless other organisations, are committed to taking a hard look at ourselves during this period, and in the days ahead, so we can fully live up to our responsibilities to be inclusive for a greater good.

We are strongly committed to valuing people’s differences, to being an organisation where all people – regardless of their gender, race, ethnicity, or belief – can and must be respected.

As we embark on a new strategy, we’re prioritising inclusion and diversity in everything we say and do so we can continue to help effect the positive change we need to see.

We recommit to the values of inclusion, innovation and integrity that we have held for more than a century to listen, to learn, and to act.

Systemic racism requires a systemic and sustained response that supports and preserves opportunities for all. That is why we support Black Lives Matter.


CIMA’s commitment to equity statement: As a global professional organisation, with members of a profession committed to the public interest, we must demonstrate a deep commitment to true diversity and inclusion.

The most pressing societal issue we must address is the systematic, structural racism that has caused such anguish and frustration in the Black community.

We are encouraged to see many people of all colours speaking up and protesting against injustice and the senseless killing of George Floyd and many before him.

We acknowledge the impact of racial oppression on communities around the world and are deeply concerned to see some peaceful protests overshadowed by violence.

As leaders, we recognise that we must advocate against racism and act to build a more equitable society. We offer our support and compassion to minority and disadvantaged ethnic communities around the world.


Rob Whiteman, CEO: We have just witnessed a second weekend of protest, sparked by the unjust killing of George Floyd in the US. Confidence in governance has been eroded and, across the world, communities are demanding acknowledgement, explanation and justice. They are demanding to be heard.

At CIPFA we advocate for strong civic institutions, bolstered by robust systems of governance, focused on and working in the public interest. When trust in our institutions fails, it is time to ask ourselves difficult and uncomfortable questions. That these protests come in the midst of a global pandemic, the greatest threat to public health in more than a century, only underscores our need to reflect.

The Covid-19 outbreak has thrown a spotlight on the contribution public sector workers play in all our lives. We have been reminded again of the risks they take each day to keep us safe, keep us in good health, to educate us and convey us to work and home.

We have often been silent, or at best slow to acknowledge, that disproportionate numbers of these public servants belong to our black and minority ethnic communities. This is regrettable and something we should seek to address.

As chartered public finance accountants it is important we stand in support of Black Lives Matter. People are right to protest against injustice; all should enjoy the benefits of liberty, the fruits of prosperity and the protection and care of public services. We call ourselves ethical accountants. We say we are proud to work in the public interest. We say we are committed to building prosperous, sustainable and socially just communities.

If this is true, then we should challenge ourselves. How we can do more to be representative and inclusive of the communities we serve; to ensure we see more black and minority ethnic directors and senior staff; to promote the need for resources to tackle entrenched prejudice; and to find better ways to ensure governance and decision making is trained on these issues.

We know there is a groundswell of determination among our students, members and staff to see us take action against racism and injustice. As chief executive, I am clear that standing in support of Black Lives Matter is core to our beliefs, that we must try harder and challenge ourselves to do more.


Michael Izza, CEO: Racism and prejudice have no place in our profession, and we all have a role to play in stamping it out. We demand the highest standards from all our members, and expect them to be inclusive and treat others with dignity and respect.

Progress has been made, but not enough. We’ll continue to champion initiatives to boost diversity, equality and inclusion within ICAEW and across the profession.