EY EMEIA Financial Services Sustainability Report 2013

Our people

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Whenever people join us — and however they progress their career with us — we want their EY experience to last a lifetime.

Creating high-performing teams

The greatest asset we have is our people. Delivering exceptional client service depends on diversity and an open-minded, collaborative culture. We value thinking, learning and acting differently so everyone can contribute their unique perspectives.

Recruiting new talent

We offer incentives to recruiters for bringing in talent from under-represented areas, and train those involved in the recruitment process. This ensures we attract future leaders — people with a global mindset who promote inclusive work approaches.

We also have country level recruitment initiatives to address local sensitivities. For example, EY Switzerland has made a significant investment aimed at attracting more women to financial services careers, including funding events and a referral campaign focused on women.

EY EMEIA Financial Services Sustainability Report 2013 - graduates EY EMEIA Financial Services Sustainability Report 2013 - Experienced hire

Retaining our people

We are keen to learn how we can better support people during key stages of their careers. Last year, we implemented ’Listening to our people’ surveys across all EMEIA Financial Services countries to gather feedback from new hires (to see how they feel six months in), recent promotes (to understand how they found their first year in their new rank) and alumni (to understand why people leave us, and learn about areas for improvement).

Empowering our people through professional development

EY Saibh Mcdonagh Kelly"My secondment allowed me to really broaden my horizons. Working with the Corporate Sustainability team in Paris was an opportunity I jumped at! I learned so much in those three months and met some brilliant people from across EMEIA. It is an experience I will never forget.”

Saibh McDonagh Kelly
EY FS Ireland, Assurance Senior

EY 12% of EMEIA people participate in international work placement

We believe developing our people’s skills empowers them to pursue a rewarding and stimulating career.

EY and You (EYU) is our career development framework, designed to help our people get the right learning, experiences and coaching. It provides a consistent development framework, and also recognizes that everyone is unique. Each EY employee is assigned a counselor, and 100% of our workforce receives regular performance and career development reviews.

We recognize that the ultimate success of EMEIA Financial Services relies on our people having a global mindset. We encourage this via both cross-border engagements and mobility programs.


Valuing diversity and inclusiveness

Recognizing the value of diversity is a start, but thinking inclusively is essential. EMEIA Financial Services is concerned about equality and opportunity – making sure differences are celebrated so talented people from any background can rise to the top – and guaranteeing development and advancement opportunities are available for all, from day one.

Gender differences matter

EY promoted female partners

EMEIA Financial Services offers career development programs targeted at high-potential women. Navigator, our flagship program, creates opportunities for our women to develop networks and voices and discuss challenges progressing their career within an industry which historically has a lower percentage of women in leadership positions.

We are seeing promising developments as a result of our efforts. For instance, 19% of internally promoted partners moving into fiscal year 2014 are female — compared with 13% in the previous year.

Promoting an inclusive culture

An inclusive culture is vital to us. We can truly say that it is the mix of our people that shapes our business culture and contributes to our organization’s success. EY runs many networks and initiatives that encourage diversity and inclusiveness, for example:

Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Network

An example of our commitment on the LGBT agenda is our involvement with the Out on the Street Summit.

One of the key issues discussed was the importance of senior leadership involvement — something we are aiming to achieve through a reciprocal mentoring scheme being launched in EMEIA FS.


EY Black Network

“We cannot underestimate the power of networks in connecting people, providing development opportunities and creating client connections. EYBN does all of this and more to help our members reach their potential. Our work with external organizations such as educational charities also allows us to make an impact within the communities where we live and work.”

Errol Gardner
EY FS UK, Advisory Partner

Moving from compliance to inclusion

Since late 2009, EY France has run an initiative to increase the number of people with disabilities in our working population. According to Thomas, a senior program consultant and participant: “We have been encouraged to use our disability to our advantage, opening up a new world of possibilities. It makes a real difference.” Another senior consultant, Julien, said: “I have been blown away by the maturity EY has shown in integrating disabled people into their way of work.”


Creating lifelong relationships

When someone leaves, our connection with them remains.

We take pride in the fact that many of our alumni will become leaders in academia, government, the not-for-profit sector or the business community, while others will play a role in growing and sustaining new organizations.

Our people work hard to drive business results, and we want them to have balanced, well-rounded lives. We aim to create a flexible workplace and help our people achieve an optimal work–life balance, so they can perform at their best.

Our vision is to become the leader in agile working practices for the professional services industry. For us, this means all employees can work effectively through greater choice in how, when and where they work.


Achieving the right balance


Providing competitive pay and benefits

We believe our people should be rewarded for the contributions they make, and we are committed to providing compensation that recognizes our highest performers. Each year, we carry out market research on rewards so we can provide a competitive compensation package.

We also conduct annual equal pay reviews and communicate the results to business leaders so they can take action where needed.

In addition to compensation, EMEIA Financial Services’ Total Rewards package consists of a range of career development opportunities, work and lifestyle arrangements, and other traditional employee benefits (e.g., private healthcare, occupational health consultant, carbon offsetting, retirement planning). These aim to help our people achieve success and recognize the value they bring to our business.

“While away from the organization, I never lost touch with EY — whether through casual catch-ups with old colleagues, formal EY alumni channels or collaboration on projects. Therefore, when the opportunity came up, old memories came flooding back. I did have some reservations at first, but two key factors ensured it wasn’t long before I was signing the contract to return.

“Firstly, I was being asked to return during a time of significant change. The Vision 2020 strategy instantly hit home with me. The organization I left behind was transforming into not only a leader in financial services, but one which was truly conscious about the future of both financial services and the wider working world. More specifically in the Netherlands, we are undergoing big changes as a result of mandatory audit rotation. Leading our practice through this change is a beautiful challenge for me.

“Secondly, they say that you never forget your first love. This may or may not be true, but I can say for certain that you never forget your first job; 25 years ago I stepped into a job which led me along a path toward where I am today. The affection for my former years at EY played a big part in my desire to come back.”

André ten Damme
EY FS Netherlands,
Advisory Market Leader


As her children grew up and her role expanded, the old arrangement became unsuitable, so she now works five-day weeks, and leads our EMEIA Financial Services agile working practice.

Gill is confident in saying that “agile working is not about cost-cutting or working from home once a week, but an essential part of employee engagement.”A number of our clients also stress that increased employee engagement is often one of the benefits of adopting flexible working practices.

Gill also emphasizes the need for “training management teams to an appropriate level to understand both the benefits of agile working and how to get the best of team members who are flexing their hours.”

Gill Lofts
EY FS UK, Head of Asset Management