Pioneering businesses take decisive action to promote diversity and inclusion in the workplace

22 May 2013

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 A group of leading businesses led by EY and supported by the EHRC (Equality and Human Rights Commission) and the CBI announce today the launch of a National Equality Standard (NES).

The NES is the first D&I initiative (Diversity & Inclusion) developed by businesses to bring clarity and consistency in their efforts to tackle inequality and promote inclusion. EY worked with the NES Board, consisting of businesses across sectors, to put together a comprehensive and pragmatic assessment that is accessible to business.

To be awarded the NES, each company will undertake a robust assessment against a defined set of criteria across 7 standards. Trained NES assessors will review documentation, ensure legal compliance, conduct comprehensive interviews and sample staff through in-depth surveys. The outcome will be detailed in a comprehensive report.

Harry Gaskell, Managing Partner of EY’s UK & Ireland Advisory practice and Head of D&I said: “D&I is probably the biggest strategic challenge for business in the next 10 years. As global business challenges become more complex, solving them requires calling on the widest spectrum of views and opinion to offer diversity of thought and perspective.

“The NES will help businesses face up to that challenge. It is a robust diversity standard that provides businesses with a range of indicators to help them drive sustainable change and demonstrate exceptional practice.

“For EY, the NES is the logical next step in our ambition to be leaders in D&I. We believe that as the world becomes more complex, no individual can know all the answers, so building diverse teams becomes more important and helps us win in an increasingly globalised market. Beyond that we want to reinforce our commitment to help our clients create sustainable, high performing environments for their people.”

The official launch of the NES will take place on 22nd May at the British Museum.