Summary of Tim Ryan's Awakening

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Tim Ryan's Awakening summary


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What role should corporate America play in promoting better conversations about racial issues? Ellen McGirt of Fortune explains how Tim Ryan, the new CEO of the accounting giant PwC, became a leading force in changing how Fortune 500 companies pursue diversity. McGirt’s in-depth examination of Ryan’s upbringing and his work at PwC provides a solid platform for understanding why Ryan’s efforts to “do more about race” within PwC and to encourage other Fortune 500 companies to join his cause are proving so successful. getAbstract recommends this article to CEOs and senior executives concerned about diversity in their corporations.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why PwC chairman Tim Ryan began promoting “conversations about race” within his accounting firm,
  • How ColorBrave meetings affected PwC employees and its leadership’s approach to diversity, and
  • How Ryan is encouraging CEOs of other Fortune 500 companies to get onboard with his vision.

About the Author

Ellen McGirt is a senior editor and an award-winning business journalist at Fortune. She composes long-form profiles and covers race, culture and leadership for Fortune’s daily column, RaceAhead.



In mid-2016, when Tim Ryan started developing a plan for his first 100 days as US chairman of the giant accounting firm PwC, he never envisioned conversations about race as a goal. But as he watched news coverage of the deaths of two black men at the hands of white police officers, followed by the murder of five white police officers during an anti–police-violence protest in Dallas, Ryan saw the need for new approaches to diversity, both within PwC and beyond. He believed that the leadership of Fortune 500 companies like PwC – companies which, collectively, employ millions of Americans – could, and should, help alleviate the problem by making people “better equipped to talk to, and not past, one another.”

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