Business organization promotes diversity in accounting

By Corrie Coleman | Reporter

The Baylor chapter of the National Association of Black Accountants was founded last fall. The organization works to provide Baylor students with recruitment opportunities, professional contacts and social events to build community within the business school. The National Association of Black Accountants, whose slogan is “Lifting as we climb,” advocates for diversity in the business field.

Houston senior Arianna Washington, president of the Baylor National Association of Black Accountants, said while the organization is open to all students, it is primarily focused on reaching minority business students.

“We are open to everyone but we are mostly geared toward minorities because there aren’t that many in accounting,” Washington said, adding that only 4 percent of people in the accounting field are non-white.

Being able to relate to the experiences and background of others in the accounting department is valuable to students, Washington said.

Washington wants the National Association of Black Accountants to help younger students get involved in the business school.

“When I was a freshman and sophomore, I just didn’t know all of the opportunities that Baylor offers,” Washington said. “We want to educate our members and help them be successful.”

Mount Pocono, Pa., junior Ebonee Washington is the vice president of the Baylor chapter of the National Association of Black Accountants. She joined the organization in order to connect with other accounting majors and extend her network of contacts.

“Being able to meet with some of the professionals in person has been my favorite aspect of it,” Washington said. “It’s a really big goal for everyone to be able to have a network. It’s really important in business to have people you can call on in your field that you know can help you out.”

Washington explained that having connections with others similar to herself in the business school has been encouraging.

“I’ve found that it’s nice to have someone who’s a little bit more similar to you in your major,” Washington said. “[NABA] is a good opportunity for minorities to come to events and know that there will be people who are similar to them.”

Houston senior Ashley Babineaux has been involved with the National Association of Black Accountants since it first started at Baylor. She believes the National Association of Black Accountants offers representation to minorities in the business school that did not previously exist.

“I thought it would be something good to represent minority students in the accounting and financial field because there’s not a lot of us,” Babineaux said. “Other organizations like the NAACP have been pushing for diversity and this is just another step in that direction.”

Babineaux hopes the National Association of Black Accountants can remind minority students that they are not alone.

“At first I didn’t know there were a lot of other black students that were in the accounting school,” Babineaux said. “This is a good way for students to know early on, ‘You’re not the only one.’”