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EY - Portrait image of Mark Richardson


Mark Richardson, Advisory

An Executive Director in the Enterprise Intelligence Practice of Ernst & Young LLP, Mark focuses on strategy for a client’s use of information and analytics. EY's working environment helps provides the flexibility and resources he needs to accommodate his balance, movement. and mobility disability.

Learn more about Mark

  • What is your role at EY?

    I am an Executive Director in the Enterprise Intelligence Practice of Ernst & Young LLP. I focus on strategy for a client’s use of information and analytics. I work primarily with clients in the US Health Care sector.

  • What differing ability do you have? Please share any background that you are willing for others to know about.

    I have a balance, movement and mobility disability.

  • How does this affect the way in which you work day-to-day?

    I require more time to begin my day and get to work, and I spend more time planning how I move from place to place during the day. I also move slowly compared to most people, and I use that extra time to think through issues and also observe the world around me. I am otherwise able to complete my work as my other colleagues do.

  • How does it enable you to bring something extra to the table?

    My differing ability has helped me be more sensitive to and aware of the differences we all have as people. I think I have more flexibility to work with people and teams to accommodate those differences and still achieve our individual and collective goals.

    Everyone experiences challenges in their life, short- and long-term, and with patience and support, we can still meet or exceed our goals. I also find that since I have to plan each day carefully, I think this helps me work with resources to more carefully plan and execute our work.

  • What is the one thing you want people to know about your differing ability?

    My differing ability means that I get from place to place differently, that it does not affect my ability to interact with people socially or professionally, nor does it prevent me from meeting challenges and delivering high quality work.

  • Ernst & Young LLP has been ranked by DiversityInc as the #1 company for people with disabilities. How has the firm and your team colleagues worked with you to make you as comfortable as possible and enabled you to perform at such a high level?

    EY has consistently shown an ability to work with talents of differing abilities. This includes an effort to include our staff and clients in the diverse range of professional and social activities in which we are engaged.

    This includes a variety of adjustments, such as building design accessible doors, ergonomic chairs and wrist rests), transportation (carts to assist people to reach events that require significant walking), flexible work arrangements (different work hours, working from home) and other adjustments that make work easier for everyone. We also consult with clients to share our knowledge and experience about how we are addressing inclusiveness for our resources who have differing abilities

  • What does building a better working world mean to you, specifically as a person with a differing ability?

    This means for me a better working world for people of all abilities, with an understanding that differing abilities are true for 20% of the world’s population at any point in time. Because my working environment provides the flexibility and resources I need to problem solve creatively I can make a difference through my work and help build a better working world.

EY - Portrait image of Misty Koper


Misty Koper, Talent

A member of the AccessAbilities Steering Committee who has a genetic, chronic condition called Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, Misty believes that working differently inspires innovation.

Learn more about Misty

  • What is your role at EY?

    I work on the Human Resources Projects team at Ernst & Young LLP on acquisitions and special projects. I am also the Abilities Champion for the McLean office and a member of the AccessAbilities Steering Committee.

  • What differing ability do you have? Please share any background that you are willing for others to know about.

    I have Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. It is a genetic and chronic syndrome that causes pain, mobility issues, and occasional sudden injuries. As a result, I move along the visibility spectrum of abilities, meaning that I sometimes have a visible indicator (like a cane), and sometimes, my disability is not visible to others.

  • What is the one thing you want people to know about your differing ability?

    I never thought of myself as having a disability. Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome is something I've had since birth, so it is a part of my very DNA. As a result, I have "worked differently" than others since the day I was born. I've walked differently, moved differently, and thought differently about how to achieve the same results as others.

    Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome is unpredictable, and scheduling can become a challenge. Doctors’ appointments or physical therapy may need to be worked into an already full week. EY allows me the flexibility to rearrange my schedule in such a way that I can attend appointments, while still getting all of my work done.

  • Ernst & Young LLP has been ranked by DiversityInc as the #1 company for people with disabilities. How has the firm and your team colleagues worked with you to make you as comfortable as possible and enabled you to perform at such a high level?

    My entire team works remotely, which affords me the opportunity to work anywhere. I can see specialists in other cities, while maintaining my ability to work in a local EY office, or from a hotel.

    Most days, I work from home, giving me the ability to arrange to accomplish my work, while still managing my condition. For example, I have a monthly medical test that I arrange at 7:00 AM, so I can be home and working by 8:30 AM. When a need to work differently arises, my team and I work together to develop a plan that helps me manage my condition, but also allows me to meet my commitments to the business.

  • What does building a better working world mean to you, specifically as a person with a differing ability?

    I believe that working differently inspires innovation. If two people want to achieve the same goal, and one has to achieve the goal differently, there is a greater likelihood that the second person will come up with something new and innovative. The challenges that I have working, going to school full-time, and managing a chronic condition leave room for plenty of innovation in scheduling.

    Being able to work from home saves the time that would usually be expended commuting to and from the office. I can channel that energy into my job and use the time effectively, so I reserve the time that I feel well throughout the day. This also allows me to schedule doctors’ appointments early in the morning, or in the late afternoon, without cutting into an average work day. When I need to see specialists far away, I can even connect to the network remotely to continue to work efficiently. Using time differently keeps my energy level higher than it would be otherwise.