Photo: Screenshot/Axios

"Addressing pay and equity is completely within our control as companies," Accenture CEO Julie Sweet said Thursday during an Axios event, adding that CEOs need to do more to promote people of color to management positions.

Why it matters: Though African Americans account for around 12% of the U.S. population, they only held 3.2% of the senior leadership roles at large companies in the country in 2019, CBS reports.

How it works: Sweet said in a companywide email that she's committed to increasing the number of people of color in positions of power, like managing directors.

  • Pay equity is key to attracting people of color and women to senior management roles.
  • Sweet said Accenture created a more equitable workplace by hiring an outside adviser to do an independent review of the company's pay and equity policies.
  • Accenture is an Ireland-based professional services company.

What they're saying: "I think it's important that, in fact, we are having in the U.S. this moment of time because we need to address racism and racial inequality," Sweet said.

  • "And the CEOs I am speaking to and the organizations I'm proud to be a part of, like the Business Roundtable, are saying, 'This is a moment where we should take action and it must be sustained change.'
  • "And so what it means for corporate leadership is that we need to, and I believe we are, going to take that step and make this a moment of change to have the impact we can have on fighting racism and creating opportunity for communities of color."

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