Stephani Long, Deloitte LLP

Stephani Long

An Impact that Matters

Editors’ Note

Stephani Long is Deloitte’s chief talent officer and oversees the talent experience that engages more than 100,000 Deloitte U.S. professionals. She is a member of the U.S. Executive Committee, U.S. Management Committee, Deloitte Foundation Board and Board Director of Deloitte Support Services India Private Limited. Previously, Long served as national managing director of Talent and Partner Matters for Deloitte Consulting LLP, where she brought innovative processes and new technologies to Deloitte’s professionals. She also led Deloitte’s U.S. Public Sector practice, which serves state and local governments as well as higher education clients and built long-term relationships over multi-year initiatives. Long earned a B.A. in government from Augustana College and a M.P.A. from The University of Texas at Austin.

Firm Brief

Deloitte (deloitte.com) provides industry-leading audit, consulting, tax and advisory services to many of the world’s most admired brands, including nearly 90 percent of the Fortune 500® and more than 5,000 private and middle market companies. Deloitte’s people work across the industry sectors that drive and shape today’s marketplace delivering measurable and lasting results that help reinforce public trust in capital markets, inspire clients to see challenges as opportunities to transform and thrive, and help lead the way toward a stronger economy and a healthy society. Deloitte is part of the largest global professional services network serving clients in the markets that are most important to them. Now celebrating 175 years of service, Deloitte’s network of member firms spans more than 150 countries and territories and employs 312,000 people worldwide.

How do you define the Deloitte difference?

In the more than 25 years I’ve been at Deloitte, a lot has changed about the business world – but Deloitte’s values have remained constant. We’ve grown to more than 100,000 people now, and we all live and work by the same set of values: to serve with integrity and foster inclusion. Every person at Deloitte knows that we are fully committed to their growth and development. Each day we empower our people to make an impact that matters to them and reach their highest potential. We are uniquely talented individuals coming together to deliver our best and make a positive impact every day. And that’s why there’s no other organization like Deloitte.

How critical is it that the chief talent officer has a seat at the table when it comes to business strategy?

It is critical. In my chief talent officer role, I am front and center in the strategy conversations we have across our businesses. The future of work is a broad topic and is driving change around the work that we do, how we do it, and the value we provide to our clients. This, in turn, impacts every aspect of our workforce and our workplace. A few years ago, I don’t think many professional services organizations really saw that tight coupling and the impact that it would have on our businesses, but our talent strategy has always been integral to the future of work.


The future of work is a broad topic and is driving
so much change around the work that we do, how we
do it, and the value we provide to our clients. This,
in turn, impacts every aspect of our workforce
and our workplace.


How is technology impacting Deloitte’s workforce and will it change the number of people that the firm needs in the future?

Technology will impact how we do the work and perhaps where we do the work. There are many different expectations from the workforce concerning the types of work that we are now going to be doing. Career paths are starting to look different than they did in years past when there was a more traditional path to leadership. The introduction of cognitive technologies, whether it’s artificial intelligence, big data, or another on a long list of developing technologies, is already affecting the way we re-skill and up-skill our people. This is all also changing how we recruit and where we recruit. That said, we’re planning on significant growth in our workforce for the next several years.

How important is it that Deloitte’s workforce mirrors the diversity of its clients?

Diversity is a top priority for our U.S. CEO, Joe Ucuzoglu, and for me – and really, all of the leaders across Deloitte. We’ve been committed to recruiting, developing and advancing a diverse workforce, and Deloitte has had a focus on inclusion for decades. It is who we are. When we talk about our culture, it includes a recognition that having a diverse and inclusive workforce is critical to our ability to serve our clients. It’s not just diversity that you can see, it’s far more multidimensional. We recognize that each one of us brings more to the table than what meets the eye and each one of us plays a role in driving our inclusive culture. A diverse workforce and inclusive culture helps us bring fresh perspectives, new ideas and the best solutions to every interaction whether that’s with our clients, colleagues or community. This will continue to remain top of mind for us.

We’re also training our workforce to be inclusive leaders. We’re taking actionable steps to understand leadership traits, bias, and cultural intelligence. We’re looking to take courageous positions around some of these topics since it’s not a simple journey with a definitive ending spot. It’s an ongoing priority for us. We want to give our people the support that they need so each person can bring who they are to work every day and feel respected and valued.


Our strength and our brand is focused on making an impact that matters. Each day, we work hard to empower our people to make an impact that’s meaningful to them whether that’s with clients, colleagues, communities, or society more broadly.


As a leading woman executive in the industry, do you feel that there are strong opportunities for women to lead in the profession and what more can be done to provide these opportunities?

While a lot of change has occurred over the past decades, we still have more to do. I believe the opportunities exist for everyone at Deloitte and we have both formal and informal programs to foster this. We’ve done a lot to change the landscape within our firm around gender and to ensure everyone has the same opportunities at each of their career stages.

It is also critical that everyone have equal access to sponsors and mentors. For me, it was important to find trusted sponsorship from both women and men. As I was coming up through the firm, that was a big differentiator for me.

We also need to empower women to drive their career journeys and take advantage of the tools and resources that exist. There is so much within Deloitte to help every individual with their career path and we need to better enable women to use those tools and opportunities.

I feel good about the progress that has been made and look forward to doing more as we move ahead.

Will you highlight Deloitte’s focus on building strong alumni relationships and keeping alumni engaged with the firm?

We have a terrific alumni program and great lifelong relationships with our alumni. We call them our “colleagues for life” here at Deloitte. We have a network of about 250,000 alumni that we stay in communication with and connect with on a regular basis. We have several different things we do with them and we think that’s critical for a number of reasons. Many of these people come back to the firm and they bring back new knowledge and skills as well as a fresh perspective and valuable experiences that they can share with us. They’re also great connections for us out in the communities.

We also have a referral program and our alumni often bring us both new staff and more experienced industry veterans. We love them to refer people to us. We have a perks program for our alumni, and we hold about 85 events each year across many different businesses, industries and geographies where our clients can also stay connected with our alumni. We have a LinkedIn group that’s very active. We use this group to collect feedback on their perceptions of how we’re doing, what our brand reputation is, and ways that we can improve. We have found alumni to be a really important resource for us.


…we’re realizing from a social purpose perspective that bringing more clarity to the role of business in social change is important and we are working with many other big businesses to do that.


How critical is corporate responsibility and community engagement to the culture of Deloitte?

It’s top-of-mind in many dimensions as it relates to the people who we are trying to recruit, our current population of professionals, and our clients as well. We strongly believe that our people are and future hires will be looking for an employer that wants to help them develop and grow, but that is also purpose-driven.

We’re committed to driving positive societal change and that takes many forms. We work with certain organizations to help them bring some of their creative ideas to scale. We also rally our workforce for what we call Impact Day each June where 110,000 of us serve hundreds of communities nationwide in a variety of different community service aspects. We try to harness the power of our people to serve that greater good. Historically, our people wanted to decide on the causes on their own. We still do this, but we’re realizing from a social purpose perspective that bringing more clarity to the role of business in social change is important and we are working with many other big businesses to do that. This has been really exciting for us.

I think the next generation of leaders is very committed to social change across the globe and that comes to life for us every day. Through an initiative called Deloitte’s global WorldClass ambition, our professionals are using their skills and expertise to help people develop job skills, improve educational outcomes, and create opportunities to succeed in this new economy. Through WorldClass, our ambition is to impact 50 million futures by 2030 by improving education for people.

We also have Deloitte Academy that helps train students post-high school to prepare them for college. We have mentoring programs. I personally have spent time repainting school gyms and helping students with their college applications. This type of service is embedded into our culture and I think that we’re going to see that continue to grow as an important element in our firm’s purpose and culture.

What do you tell those who are starting their careers in the industry about what they should be doing to build a sustainable career?

First, be curious, agile and a lifelong learner. The pace of change is so fast right now and a mindset of continuous learning is a major advantage. Second, find a mentor or mentors early in your career journey. Even if you don’t think you need to be thinking about the long-term nature of your career in your first few years, use those mentors to help you find the right opportunities to continue to grow or to help you course correct if you get off track. Mentorship and sponsorship is so important in all aspects of your career and during your entire career journey. Finally, and perhaps most important, find an organization where you feel included and where you feel like you can authentically show up at work and bring your entire self to the experience. Find an organization that is looking out for you and your well-being.