Ernst & Young LLP expands size and scope of annual event for underrepresented minority students and hosts fourth annual college faculty roundtable to help enhance diversity and inclusion in business schools and the profession

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New York, 4 January 2012 — Ernst & Young LLP will host nearly 150 ethnically diverse students from 73 US campuses at Discover EY (formerly called Discover Tax), the organization’s sixth annual event for minority students, from January 4-6 in New York City.

The firm will concurrently host its fourth annual Campus Diversity and Inclusiveness Roundtable, a forum at which deans, faculty and administrators from top business programs will discuss the business imperative for diversity and inclusion and share best practices. This year’s event will feature Jim Turley, the firm’s Chairman and CE0, and a panel discussion of prominent corporate executives on this topic.

Both Discover EY and the Campus Diversity and Inclusiveness Roundtable events are designed to address the underrepresentation of African Americans, Hispanics and Native Americans in the accounting profession. According to the 2011 American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA)’s 2011 Trend Report, underrepresented minority presence at CPA firms is 3% Black/African-American, 4% Hispanic/Latino and 1% Native American. In addition, the percentage of bachelor’s and master’s graduates in accounting by ethnicity remains low with 6% Black/African-American, 5% Hispanic and 1% Native American among the 2009-2010 graduating class.

Discover EY
Due to the success of Discover Tax, the firm will increase the size and scope of the program. The number of participants in this year’s event will rise by 50%, from 100 students last year, and the firm will expand insights beyond careers in tax to all practice areas within the firm.

Due, in part, to Discover Tax’s objectives, underrepresented minorities accounted for 13% of the firm’s tax practice in the US last year. When combined with the number of Asian hires, minorities represent 36% of Ernst & Young LLP’s total hiring from campuses.

“EY’s ability to meet the needs of a range of diverse clients, both in the US and abroad, rests on our long-standing commitment to diversity and a culture of inclusiveness within the firm,” said Nancy Altobello, Americas Vice Chair, People, Ernst & Young LLP. “We believe in proactively offering high-potential minority candidates a chance to engage with EY early on in their college careers as a way to strengthen our talent pipeline in all areas of the organization.”

The three-day, all expense-paid, Discover EY event will provide participants with the opportunity to learn from interactive team-building events, service line-focused panels, and conversations with Ernst & Young LLP leaders, including Turley. Following the conference, attendees, who are primarily sophomores and juniors in college, will be eligible to interview for internships with the firm.

Campus Diversity and Inclusiveness Faculty Roundtable
Ernst & Young LLP’s fourth annual Campus Diversity and Inclusiveness Faculty Roundtable will gather 35 faculty and university administrators from 15 schools across the US to discuss the business imperative for a commitment to diversity, the benefit of creating a culture of inclusiveness within the business school, and the importance of developing inclusive leadership skills within the business school community.

“Creating diversity and inclusion in the workplace is an effort that begins on campus. Through our Roundtable, we are committed to providing collaboration, strategies and tactics that can be implemented to increase campus diversity,” said Ken Bouyer, Americas Director of Inclusiveness Recruiting, Ernst & Young LLP. “It’s clear that a strong culture of diversity and inclusiveness is a competitive advantage, one we must prioritize by cultivating a global mindset within the campus and business community.”

Roundtable participants will meet with Turley and corporate executives from Microsoft and Siemens to discuss ways to drive diversity and inclusiveness at their respective organizations. In addition, participants will share best practices and participate in a learning session focused on building strategies to achieve sustainable and systemic change on campus.

Since the inception of the Roundtables four years ago, past participants have implemented ideas and best practices discussed during the event that have helped to enhance diversity and inclusion efforts at their respective colleges and universities.

Examples of programs that have been implemented due, in part, to the roundtable include:

  • University at Albany (SUNY) - Ingrid Fisher, Chair of the Department of Accounting and Law, developed a strategy called AREA, an acronym for its mission to attract, retain, educate and advance a diverse group into the accounting field - after attending the 2010 roundtable. Through AREA, Fisher created the EY LEAD (leadership, education, accounting and diversity) Scholars Program, which offers tutoring, extra study sessions and EY events to increase the retention of minority accounting students.
  • Syracuse University - Susan Albring, assistant professor of accounting at the Whitman School of Management, developed The Future Leaders Program after attending the Roundtable in January 2011. Albring brought together, faculty and administrators from Whitman, admissions, and financial aid together with EY to host a conference for tri-state area minority students. The program, held at EY’s NYC office, exposed more than 85 top high school seniors to the world of accounting and provided them with a primer about attending Syracuse University.

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This news release has been issued by Ernst & Young LLP, a member firm of Ernst & Young Global Limited.