Toronto — August 25, 2022 – Xero, the global small business platform, today announced the launch of an annual scholarship with the Black Business and Professional Association (BBPA). The award, based on academic achievement and financial need, will be given to a Black student who studies any accounting field at an accredited Canadian college or university. While BBPA has seen countless accounting-specific applicants over the years, the new award is the first designed specifically for them.
The need for greater diversity in the finance industry is glaring. Gartner’s Labor Market Survey released in March 2021, found that corporate finance ranks among the lowest of any industry when it comes to increased representation, with people of colour making up 11 percent of the total workforce and just 6 percent of senior finance roles.
Today’s announcement aims to improve these numbers and represents an evolution of Xero’s partnership with BBPA, established in 2021. The new scholarship is part of BBPA’s existing scholarship efforts, which the organization began in 1986. Over those years, BBPA has awarded students a total of $5.5 million, and in the past two years alone, BBPA has awarded 186 scholarships.
“Many students who apply for this new scholarship could possibly be the first in their family to ever go to university,” said Ross Cadastre, President of BBPA. “We hear stories all the time about Black students working two or three jobs while studying full time. This scholarship can help ease the burden these students face and enable them to more fully focus on their studies. We are thankful for Xero’s ongoing support of our mission and commitment to addressing equity and opportunity for the Black community.”
In addition to its work with BBPA, Xero partners with many industry organizations in support of advancing underrepresented populations in the accounting field. The collaboration with BBPA is one of three new scholarship efforts announced by the company at Xerocon New Orleans today; Xero also announced the inaugural Mary T. Washington Award, awarded to a student member of the National Association of Black Accountants (NABA, Inc.), and two scholarships awarded to student members of the Association of Latino Professionals For America (ALPFA).
“Xero believes the Canadian accounting industry is at an inflection point and will look very different in the years to come, whether it be the people that do the work or the tools they use to do that work,” said Faye Pang, Canada Country Manager at Xero. “We’re honoured to partner with BBPA to make the field more accessible for future generations of accountants, and one that reflects the beautiful diversity of Canada.”
Xero is a global small business platform with 3.3 million subscribers which includes a core accounting solution, payroll, workforce management, expenses and projects. Xero also provides access to financial services, and an ecosystem of more than 1,000 connected apps and more than 300 connections to banks and other financial institutions. Through Xero’s open platform, small businesses can connect to a range of solutions that help them run their business and manage their finances. For three consecutive years (2020-2022) Xero was included in the Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index. In 2021, Xero was included in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI), powered by the S&P Global Corporate Sustainability Assessment. Xero has been named as a FIFA Women’s Football partner under FIFA’s new commercial structure.
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