With headlines and discourse surrounding ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) circulating the media throughout these past few weeks, it wasn’t long until conversations about the U.S. government agency made its way onto Fishbowl.
Recently top consulting firm, McKinsey and Company, announced ending relations with ICE due to its accompaniment with President Trump’s immigration policies.
The conversations surrounding this decision brought up questions from professionals at other consulting firms, most notably Deloitte, as to whether or not they should continue working with ICE as a client. Deloitte employees circulated a petition on Fishbowl a couple of weeks ago calling for the company to end its contract with the enforcement agency, which had more than 750 names added to it.
With nearly half of Deloitte’s US consultants and accountants on Fishbowl, we decided to survey Deloitte employees to get a better understanding of the firm’s overall consensus relating to its association with ICE.
55% of Deloitte employees say it should NOT end its contract with ICE
803 Deloitte employees participated in this survey, which ran from July 11th to July 13th. The results show that the majority do not want to end its contract with ICE – 55% of employees responded ‘NO.’
When breaking the responses down by gender we see relatively similar results. 60% of female employees and 56% of male employees at Deloitte responded ‘NO’ . 51% of users that did not specify their gender responded ‘NO’.
A more notable difference in response emerges when looking at the results by seniority. 70% of Deloitte employees over the age of 40 believe that the company should not end its contract with ICE. This contrasts more significantly to the 55% of employees under the age of 40. For users that did not specify their age, 51% responded ‘NO’
Perspectives from Deloitte Employees
A main point of pushback to signing the petition was distinguishing between the client and the projects:
“We can still work with the government and with government agencies without working on projects directly or indirectly related to those issues that violate our ethics. Hell, if we couldn’t then I would be protesting the fact that we are working with the federal government at all!”
Others focused on the fact that positive change can be brought about when working with a client like ICE:
“If anything, isn’t right now when ICE needs the most help? They need to get out of the mess they made and focus on bigger issues. Instead of walking away, we should step in to help save ICE from its own mess.”
Some employees pointed out the risk of vocalizing an opinion about a client and ways of more subtly aligning projects with individual preferences:
“Turn it down but call it a fit thing, or skill set, whatever, and find an alternative quick. I’m deeply hesitant to do anything DoD, for example, but aren’t stupid enough to vocalize that in this firm. Instead I’m proactive in finding my own projects.
On the other hand, many Deloitte employees mentioned that they don’t think it’s worth compromising their personal ethics in order to be professionally successful:
“I wish the members of the Deloitte team success, but I can’t bring myself to support this client at this time. If I get chewed out or fired for it, oh well.”
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