• Sebastian Distefano, Author |
2 min read

I am a confident accountant, always checking and rechecking the numbers, looking for ways to improve.

I am introspective, and some may even say introverted, but I can let loose with the best of them. Being a vocal cheerleader and proud supporter, I prefer to let those around me shine, rather than demand the spotlight. I am shaped by the teachings of my family, my mentors, my friends, my colleagues and the life lessons I have learned along the way. I am always striving to help make the world around me a better place.

And for me, a big part of who I am includes the workplace. Let's face it, these days it can seem like we're always at work or online, even more so these last two years due to the global pandemic. At KPMG, we do everything possible to ensure our people are able to take the time they need for themselves, and that they have access to tools and resources to help them make the most of that time. But still, I know firsthand how the days can feel.

Meanwhile, having a safe space to come to work (whether physically or virtually) where we can all enjoy a sense of belonging and be ourselves to the fullest has never been more important. But how can you be sure an organization actually champions this kind of culture? That they actually walk their talk?

At KPMG, we truly value an inclusive culture that allows everyone to feel comfortable and confident in bringing their whole selves to work. Every day, we work together to build an equitable, inclusive and mentally healthy team, where each of us are empowered to speak up, reach out and use our unique voices to help drive positive change.

But the 'proof is in the pudding' and I don't want you to simply take my word for it. So, I reached out to our people, asking them if they would consider opening up and sharing their diverse perspectives, insights, experiences and advice with our new hires. (They gladly agreed—we had so many volunteers, our video shoot lasted two full days). And the final result was better than anything I could have imagined.

Through a collection of candid conversations and authentic stories, our people shared the importance of being part of a culture where everyone is free to be themselves. Our video, Come as you are (see below), provides a small glimpse into what it means to belong at KPMG.

Across all levels and functions, whether new to the firm or with us for decades, our people discussed important topics like racism, bias, mental health issues, wellness and Indigenous reconciliation. Their courageous and empowering stories exemplify what it means to live KPMG's values—together, for better.

I am proud to work at a firm that allows me to be who I am and that celebrates our differences. We are all unique and that's what makes us great. It takes courage to come as you are, something we do at KPMG every day.

For that, I am not just proud but truly grateful. I hope you enjoy the video, and that it inspires you as much as it does me.