We #ChooseToChallenge Inequality


Alex Allyn

Publish Date



  • ACA News

Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day remind us to reflect on all the progress that has been made for women’s rights and the work we have left to do. We recognize that women's historical contributions to the world and the workplace have been restricted, overlooked, and excluded from history.

Many women were lucky to have strong female influences, like a mother, sister, aunt, grandmother, or teacher, that shaped our self-perception and beliefs during our critical milestones and development. While our perceptions and beliefs in equality were strong, many of us emerged into a starkly contrasted work environment due to systems of inequality and unconscious bias.

At ACA, we #ChooseToChallenge inequality. "First, but not the last" is the mandate to look back and move forward. We must first acknowledge the impact women have made to our world, then commit to creating space, dialogue, and opportunity for women to secure their progress. We do this by taking action to dismantle the norms, stereotypes, and environments that inhibit equality.

The Women’s Empowerment program at ACA (WE@ACA) seeks to encourage representation of women in our workplace and formal leadership positions at all organizational levels. We are committed to the advancement of women within our industry and business through advocacy, mentorship, and training. We recognize the diversity of our workforce makes us stronger, more innovative, and more insightful. During the month of March, our team is not only celebrating our female leaders but working hard to deliver more impactful tools and programs to assure balance and growth for all at our firm.

"Let's shatter the notion of perception being reality. How many times have we heard this expression? To me, this is an excuse—an old way of thinking. All it does is foster conscious and unconscious biases. Walt Whitman said, 'Be curious, not judgmental.' Seek to understand what you see! Raise your hand, choose to challenge perceptions, and promote a deeper perspective." - Michele Shepard, Member, Board of Directors at ACA 

"Having strong women in your life to look up to and emulate is a large part of being successful both in and out of the workplace. Always strive to live a life that will be emulated." - Karen Foley, Partner, Co-Head of Performance Services

"Women's History Month is both a time to celebrate the amazing contributions of women and remember how hard women have struggled and fought for equality throughout our history. It's also a time to strengthen our resolve to shape our society in a way that truly supports and celebrates equality for women." - Carlo di Florio, Chief Services Officer

"Striking balance between leading a team and managing a family is not always easy. Surround yourself with a village that can help you strike balance and succeed. It is important to recognize and appreciate the village and give back when you can." - Crista DesRochers, Partner, ESG Advisory

“There is always light. If only we’re brave enough to see it. If only we’re brave enough to believe it.” - Amanda Gordon
"As the oldest of five sisters and a mother to a teenage daughter, I strive to be that light. To help build them up, encourage them, and guide them to see their inner beauty and strength." - Danielle Joseph, Managing Director and Co-head of ACA's Client Experience Program

"You can’t move forward without looking back and reflecting on the lessons you learned along the way. I’m thankful for the history of those before me and the lessons I learned that have helped me grow and define my personal success." - Krissy Kennedy, Managing Director of Marketing

"We need to improve every aspect of the work environment: from the formal processes around recruiting/mentoring/assignments/promotions, to the daily minutiae around how we run meetings and allocate office “housework,” to increase engagement, visibility, and ultimately the impact of women at ACA." - Shvetank Shah, Chief Executive Officer

"Focus on the power you have instead of complaining about what you can’t change in others. Challenge others by changing your own behavior." - Maja Marszalek, Senior Director of Client Development

"During my time at ACA, I have had the great opportunity to work alongside exceptional women who are leading ACA to new heights. I am glad we can take the opportunity to celebrate Women’s History Month and honor the past while looking ahead with excitement to what the future holds." - Justin Guthrie, Chief Operating Officer

“As a manager, I strive to build a diverse team with different skillsets to challenge each other and myself to grow. I cherish these unique perspectives because they drive me to be better and help me strive to deliver excellence.” - Jennifer Murphy, Controller

"Challenging ourselves today to empower women gives me hope that my young daughters will grow up in a world that celebrates and recognizes their value when they eventually enter the workforce. The women today and in the past that have shattered ceilings provide the shoulders for them to stand on to break even higher ceilings." - Raj Bakhru, Chief Innovation Officer