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Deloitte Partner Defies Accounting’s Diversity Gap (Podcast)

July 23, 2021, 8:46 AM

Thalia Smith, a partner at Deloitte, is using her experience as a Black woman in the Big Four to help students looking to break into accounting.

Smith, an audit and assurance partner, is leading Deloitte’s $75 million effort to close the diversity gap in the accounting profession. Just 2% of the firm’s partners, principals, and managing directors are Black.

On this week’s episode of Talking Tax, Smith talks with reporter Amanda Iacone about her journey to becoming a Deloitte partner and the hurdles she faced as she advanced in an overwhelmingly white profession.

Smith earned scholarships that helped her pay for her education and had other support as she prepared for the CPA exam. Deloitte is trying to take out the “luck” element of the process, she said. The firm has committed $30 million to scholarships for hundreds of Black and Latino students.

Listen to the episode here.

Have feedback on this episode of Talking Tax? Give us a call and leave a voicemail at 703-341-3690.

To contact the reporter on this story: David Schultz in Washington at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Patrick Ambrosio at; Colleen Murphy at