Flex Leader Award to be presented During Virtual Conference on November 3
Washington, DC (October 26, 2021) – The Diversity and Flexibility Alliance has announced that Lara Abrash, Chair and Chief Executive Officer, Deloitte & Touche LLP, will receive its 2021 Flex Leader Award. The Flex Leader Award recognizes an executive who is moving their organization toward a more inclusive workplace through holistic flexibility. The Award will be presented on Thursday, November 3 during the Alliance’s virtual annual conference Reflect. Reimagine. Recalculate. Paving the Way to Inclusive Flexibility. Registration is available here.
Lara Abrash was selected because of her extraordinary commitment to fostering a true culture of flexibility, inclusivity, and empathy at Deloitte. She is an optimistic and innovative leader who has successfully navigated the workplace challenges of the pandemic and has developed a creative, industry-leading hybrid work model that emphasizes employee flexibility and well-being. She has a passion for advancing innovation, as well as diversity and inclusion in the accounting profession, and is leading the industry in its evolution towards the future of work.
Lara leads the Audit & Assurance business comprised of leaders and professionals who pride themselves on the flexibility they receive and demonstrate on a daily basis. She is committed to well-being and emphasizes the importance of taking time off to reflect and recharge, encouraging her fellow partners and managing directors to “live what they preach” so others will follow. Lara credits the culture at Deloitte with the firm’s successful transition to a “virtual first environment” during the pandemic. Now as restrictions loosen, she has created a hybrid plan that focuses on communicating (expectations and preferences), committing (to boundaries), connecting (through virtual and, when possible, in-person touchpoints) and culture (collaboration and an apprenticeship model).
Using data received through one-on-on discussions and a professional insights survey on how and when employees want to work and where they work, Lara emphasizes the importance of each team creating a hybrid working plan that accounts for unique circumstances, empowers employees to make individual choices and is rooted in data and feedback from employees. With physical and mental health as a top priority, Lara is managing her team with transparency and honesty and maintains that Deloitte’s transition to a hybrid model will be gradual with no abrupt changes to the way they work.
Throughout her career, Lara has been a mentor and supporter of women’s initiatives such as Deloitte’s Women’s Initiative and has championed the advancement and empowerment of women. Additionally this year, Lara was one of the lead sponsors of Deloitte’s commitment to fueling greater racial and ethnic diversity in tax and accounting through the establishment of Making Accounting Diverse and Equitable (MADE). The firm’s vision is to increase racial and ethnic diversity by generating more advisory, auditing, and tax career opportunities and leadership pathways for the next generation of certified public accountants.
“A trailblazer in her field, Lara Abrash is the perfect example of someone who is successfully leading with empathy, honesty, authenticity and a commitment to employee well-being,” said Manar Morales, President & CEO of the Diversity & Flexibility Alliance. “She takes the time to engage with and listen to her colleagues while modeling the importance of flexibility. Future generations of workers are looking to leaders like Lara to pave the way to the flexible and inclusive workplace of the future.”
“Individuals feel empowered and engaged when their voices are heard,” said Lara Abrash, Chair and Chief Executive Officer, Deloitte & Touche LLP. “This year is the year of learning – we are focused on successfully integrating the well-being, including the physical and mental health, of the individual and finding meaningful connections for advancement, development, and innovation. As leaders, it is our responsibility to navigate this journey by remembering to communicate regularly, commit to one another on respecting boundaries, and connect with purpose, whether virtually or in-person, to sustain the organization’s culture,” she added.
The Diversity and Flexibility Alliance is a think tank that collaborates with organizations to develop non-stigmatized flexible working policies that promote inclusive cultures and help to advance more women into leadership positions. The Alliance provides practical research-based solutions, training workshops, and strategic advisory services that increase organizational effectiveness through diversity and flexibility.
Registration for the conference is available here.
Contact: Manar Morales