Ernst & Young – Corporate Partner Spotlight


What is Ernst & Young’s approach to diversity?

At Ernst & Young, diversity and inclusiveness initiatives are created for each one of us.  Diversity is no longer defined just by race or gender. It encompasses the whole human experience — age, culture, education, personality, competencies, skills, life experiences and many other attributes.

But having diversity is only half the equation; inclusiveness is needed to make the diverse mix work. Inclusiveness helps us unleash the true power of our global organization. It’s about celebrating differences, so that talented people from any background can provide exceptional client service and grow to their full potential.

As a global organization, adding differing voices and viewpoints encourages creativity and strengthens our competitive advantage. As the most globally integrated organization in our field, we seek to develop a global mindset in all of our people.

Our commitment to diversity and inclusiveness drives our ability to think globally. Our leaders are accountable for building that culture – for setting goals, developing actions and monitoring results, and engaging clients and thought leaders.  We have focused over the past few years on building the inclusive leadership skills of our people by exploring the impact of unintended associations, developing mindsets and habits for leading inclusively, building skills and practices to optimize and transform our culture, and inspiring commitment to practice inclusive leadership at the personal, team and organizational levels.

The positive business effects of a diverse and inclusive culture are irrefutable; yet moving the needle is a continuous project. In order to make a difference, we need to approach diversity and inclusiveness with structure, strategy, accountability, “tone at the top,” sponsorship and metrics.

What sets your recruiting, career development, and work-life programs apart?

Creating a diverse and inclusive environment is critical to Ernst & Young's success.  Because we want to hire highly talented students, experienced and executive professionals from a deep pool of talent; we offer several programs and initiatives to increase our access to this talent and to help them succeed in their careers. Not only does Ernst & Young have an Inclusiveness Recruiting Center of Excellence dedicated to creating a sourcing strategy nationally, but we also have devoted resources to develop talent locally. Each line of business develops a strategy that embeds diversity recruiting into all processes and drives accountability for pipeline development.

Furthermore, our commitment does not end at recruitment. Ernst & Young has initiatives and programs to develop and retain our top talent by offering the right experiences, culture and professional development opportunities to help advance their careers. Our career development framework is called EYU (EY and you) and it provides our talent with the skills, knowledge and confidence that will be essential to their ongoing success.

How long has Ernst & Young been a corporate partner of CUP’s and why does your organization value this relationship?

Ernst & Young is excited to be a brand new corporate sponsor. When we looked at CUP's mission to develop and empower diverse business leaders, we knew right away that we wanted to support that mission. At Ernst & Young, we strive to build a "better working" world by forming diverse, high performing teams that excel not only in the market place, but also in the communities we serve. CUP is valuable to Ernst & Young because of the people it connects. While we have been focused on diversity recruiting for some time, the next step in building a diverse business community is connecting people across firms, industries, and sectors. CUP does exactly that and we want nothing more than to help CUP continue to succeed in that mission.

How do you think CUP will have the greatest impact?

CUP has had so much success in such a short period of time it's difficult to say how their impact could have been greater. CUP is doing exactly what it needs to do, by continuing to expand its reach into new industries and sectors. As a leader in the professional services industry, we understand and appreciate the need to have a wide variety of skills and experience across many different areas of expertise. The more that CUP can diversify its member base and effectively develop leaders in all areas of business and public service, the more successful the organization and its members will be.