The global consulting firm has pledged to create a gender-balanced workforce and diverse leadership ranks.

Consulting firm Accenture is taking steps to support diversity across its 912 employees in Columbus and 500,000 globally.

The company has a goal to have 50 percent of its workforce be women by 2025—it’s at 44 percent now, while 24 percent of its managing directors are women. Nearly half the people it is hiring now are women, and its CEO, Julie Sweet, is a woman.

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It also has committed to increase the representation of Black employees to 12 percent from 9 percent, and Latinx people to 13 percent from 9.5 percent, while significantly increasing the number of managing directors from these groups. Now, 2.8 percent of people in those roles are Black, while 3.5 percent are Latinx.

“I think we’ve been very purposeful in working to promote African Americans and Hispanic Americans,” says Paula O’Reilly, an Accenture managing director in Columbus and the leader of its North American women’s employee resource group. “Better solutions come from a greater diversity of thought and different backgrounds, whether it be gender or ethnic, and our clients benefit from that diversity of thought.”

The company also is launching an initiative to support Black entrepreneurs. The Accenture Ventures program will invest in Black technology startup founders and CEOs through the Black Founders Development Fund. It’s an underserved source of innovation: Less than 1 percent of all venture capital funding goes to Black founders, according to a study by RateMyInvestor and VC Diversity.

Accenture is making other moves to support employees as well. It’s offering school-day supervision of children ages 6 to 12 through Bright Horizons, which has centers nationwide, including at least two in Columbus.