EY Faculty Connection - Issue 39

Diverse leaders start on our campuses

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We’ve long known that diverse teams, when supported by an inclusive culture that welcomes their ideas, tend to perform higher and produce innovative solutions. We also know that even though approximately 36% of this year’s incoming campus hires will come from minority backgrounds, we still have much work to do to encourage and support diversity within our profession.

EY sponsors events designed to encourage diversity, inclusiveness and a global mindset in future leaders

In January 2013, EY hosted its seventh annual Discover EY event and its fifth annual Campus Diversity and Inclusiveness Roundtable to address the underrepresentation of African Americans, Hispanics and Native Americans in professional services.

Discover EY
In a continued effort to attract underrepresented minority talent to professional services, EY brought over 150 high-achieving, ethnically diverse students from across 73 US campuses to New York City. Here, they had a chance to network with each other and with firm leaders while learning more about their leadership potential and career opportunities at EY. 

While attending the three-day, all expense-paid event, students take part in interactive team-building exercises, leadership seminars, networking opportunities and conversations with Ernst & Young’s top leaders, including Global Chair and CEO Jim Turley. The attendees, who are primarily college sophomores and juniors, are eligible to interview for internships with EY following the conference.

Akil Marrow, Atlanta native, accounting major and junior at Auburn University in Alabama visited New York City for the first time to attend Discover EY. “What brought me here is I was really interested in what the EY professionals had to offer,” he said. “So far they’ve done a great job of providing us with opportunities to network with professionals like Jim Turley. It’s been a great experience so far.”

“By identifying and engaging with top talent early in their campus careers, we are enriching our pipeline with diverse candidates for all of our businesses,” said Nancy Altobello, Americas Vice Chair, People, EY. “Building diverse, high-performing teams that cultivate a culture of inclusiveness is key to delivering exceptional client service.”

Campus Diversity and Inclusiveness Roundtable
Identifying and engaging with top diverse talent early in their campus careers is one way to ensure we’re advancing minorities within our profession. As part of our broad investment in diversity, we also brought college and business leaders together this past January to participate in our annual Campus Diversity and Inclusiveness Roundtable.

Over the course of this two-day event, participants learned from distinguished speakers about diversity and inclusiveness initiatives at their respective organizations, discussed leading practices for encouraging a global mindset, and developed action plans to achieve sustainable and systemic change on campus.

“Diversity and inclusiveness are fundamental principles required for success in the global marketplace and these concepts must be a priority on college campuses to help companies build a pipeline of qualified candidates,” said Ken Bouyer, Americas Director of Inclusiveness Recruiting at EY. “The Roundtable creates a forum where administrators of leading business programs can collectively focus on ways to embed a global mindset into existing programming and curriculums to help equip students for today’s business world.”

Past Roundtable participants have implemented ideas and best practices discussed during the events at their respective colleges and universities in an effort to instill a global mindset among their students.

One such example is a program now offered at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Jana Raedy, Associate Dean - Master of Accounting Program at the Kenan-Flagler Business School, was inspired to create a course called “Leadership: Professionalism and Team Building in Today’s Diverse Business Environment” after attending the 2011 Roundtable event.

The course utilizes advanced educational tools, grounded in the latest research regarding inclusivity, leadership, professionalism and communication, to prepare students to assume positions of leadership in the professional accounting environment, both public and private. It is ultimately designed to help students understand the essential skills of professionalism and team building that are requisite in today’s diverse, global business environment, addressing topics such as emotional intelligence, personal branding and more.

At this year’s Roundtable, Raedy shared what she has learned to date as a panelist during the Leading Practices sessions.