Accelerating women and gender equity

Gender equity isn’t a problem to be solved. It’s a solution to the world’s most complex issues.

At EY, we’re taking bold actions, both big and small, to forge positive change that goes beyond equality to uplift social equity and further women’s social, economic, cultural and political advancement.

The world is changing at light speed. From technology to geopolitics to supply chains: tackling today’s complexity requires a diverse chorus of perspectives — including women’s voices. Still, global events and divisions are pushing gender parity backwards.

  • The World Economic Forum says at the current rate, it will take another 131 years for the world to reach gender parity.
  • The Canadian Women’s Foundation ranks Canada 30th out of 146 countries on the Global Gender Gap Index.

Policies and procedures aren’t enough. We need dramatic change now. At EY, we’re using our voice and reach to foster belonging and advance women. In 2023, we were once again named among Canada’s Best Workplaces for Women. Why? Because we are continuously working to evolve our programs, policies and practices to progress gender equity in our organization.

  • Our commitment to gender diversity starts with our leadership and permeates throughout our organization, with women representing 51% of all our people and 45% of our management.
  • Our Professional Women’s Network connects professional women through allyship, mentorship, sponsorship and advocacy. This influential forum surfaces insights that shape our culture, policies and programs as we seek to create a working world grounded in equality in our organization and across the Canadian market.
  • Our Canadian #YouBelong campaign celebrates the differences that make our people unique by sharing their stories and encouraging dialogue to ignite meaningful change.

This focus on equity extends beyond EY. It informs our actions with our communities as well as every person and organization we collaborate, align and work with across the value chain. We align our market-facing, gender-focused efforts through EY’s Women Fast Forward global platform, which seeks to accelerate gender parity in entrepreneurship, leadership and next-generation talent.

Learn how we’re driving tangible progress and fostering an inclusive environment where all differences are valued, practices are equitable and everyone feels a sense of belonging. 

  • Entrepreneurship

    We champion women-owned businesses by ensuring diversity in our supplier base and fostering their growth while enriching communities and supporting equitable economic progress:

    • Since 2023 in Canada, EY Entrepreneurial Winning WomenTM identifies high-potential women entrepreneurs and provides access, advice and resources to scale their businesses. Six women founders from Canada were selected as part of the program’s North America Class of 2023.
    • We’re a founding sponsor of NEXT Canada, where our EY Women in Tech Award recognizes high-potential women entreprenurs in the technology space.
    • Through our EY Ripples social impact program, we worked with more than 30 organizations in Canada last year that support women or are women owned, including YWCA Metro Vancouver, New Beginnings Support Program and the City of Toronto's Women4Climate program.
  • Leadership

    We play an active role in accelerating women into leadership roles. This means working with other organizations to address barriers to gender equity while developing personal leadership and aligning allies to empower women in the workplace:

    • Many of our client-serving partners and people who do not have titled roles in inclusiveness speak on DE&I to audiences across Canada’s business, academic and wider communities. 
    • We are a founding sponsor of Women Business Enterprises Canada, and global sponsor of 50/50 Women on Boards — a nonprofit that seeks to accelerate gender balance and diversity on corporate boards.
  • Next generation

    We develop and support the next generation of women:

    • We are making global progress through EY NextGen Women — a global competition for women who have the potential to have a fulfilling career in our Strategy and Transactions practice. 
    • We offer scholarships that provide women with digital skills development opportunities to nurture their competitive edge, mentorship programs and more. 

Stories of belonging videos

Dionne Allison is passionate. To her, belonging means that no one holds her back - or fears putting her forward because of the colour of her skin or her gender. At EY, Dionne says that she feels like she belongs and is deeply committed to amplifying that sense of belonging for Black professionals everywhere. Dionne joined EY’s Black Professionals Network to raise awareness, create development opportunities and empower others in the belief that whoever you are, whatever your background: #YouBelong.

Leona Liu is compassionate — with herself, and those around her. When diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) well into her EY career, Leona uncovered an entirely new aspect of herself that explained why she processed information differently and what would help her thrive. Today, as co‑chair of EY’s AccessAbilities professional network, she uses that insight to enable people of different abilities, destigmatize mental health in the workplace and celebrate the intersectionality that makes each of us unique. Culture builder. Inclusion advocate. Business leader. At EY, a sense of belonging empowers Leona to take down barriers, and build up understanding; the kind that bolsters progress for all.

Gabriella Doueihy is driven. Her determined pursuit of excellence in swimming has propelled her to the Olympic stage — twice. Now, Gabriella draws on EY Canada’s culture of belonging to ensure she never has to choose between building a rewarding career and pursuing athletic dreams. Free to be herself. Supported by her team. Gabriella balances professional and athletic success in an organization that supports even the boldest goals by reinforcing that #YouBelong.

Roxanne Israel is strong—even stronger than she thought. When a breast cancer diagnosis transformed her reality, she drew on EY’s culture of belonging and support to navigate the journey ahead. Now, she’s using her voice to help others find theirs. Because belonging is powerful. And it flourishes when we create space for authentic dialogue, empowering others to do the same.

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