Building a more equitable working world
EY US Diversity, Equity and Inclusion report
A message from leadership
At EY, we are a force for making positive, impactful change, and understand we have a powerful platform to take bold action. For decades we have worked to strengthen the foundation laid by our firm’s co-founder, Arthur Young, who as a young man with disabilities in the 1800s used his talent against the odds to become an entrepreneur and founder of the modern accounting profession.
Being a leader and driving actionable change — among our people and for our clients and communities — requires regular self-examination and a desire to learn and improve. Charting our progress is critical for accountability. We’ve seen progress over the last year on several metrics including representation of women and racially and ethnically diverse partners/principals, but we’ve also lost ground on other metrics. With the release of this year’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion report, Building a more equitable working world, we continue to hold a mirror up to ourselves and, by extension, to our industry.
In our second annual report, you will find stories and data that demonstrate how we take action for equity within our firm and our communities. As the challenges and realities of the pandemic continue to impact us every day, we’re also focused on our own people. Helping them to thrive both personally and professionally is an essential part of fulfilling our long-standing commitment to diversity, equity and inclusiveness, and it’s a responsibility that we don’t take lightly.
In the face of increased social and political polarization, the ongoing COVID-19 health crisis and seismic shifts in the labor market and the ways we work, we are dedicated to living our values. We will continue to be transparent in sharing our journey, including the challenges and the victories.
Candid collaboration within the professional services community will serve to accelerate change for our people, clients and communities as we build a more equitable working world together.
Highlights of our journey
We’ve been on a journey to build a more equitable working world for more than 30 years. Diversity, equity and inclusiveness are essential elements of our firm’s history, and our commitment to these ideals remains constant.
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- Formed the Gender Equity Taskforce
- Formed the Professional Women’s Network, Black Professional Network, Pan Asian Professional Network, Latinx Professional Network and Today’s Families Network
- Formed the Inclusiveness Recruiting Team
- Introduced domestic partner benefits in the US
- Formed Beyond, the EY LGBT+ Professional Network (globally renamed as Unity in 2014)
- Issued EY US non‑discrimination policy inclusive of gender identity/expression
- Introduced transgender benefits in the US
- Started the Horizon/Launch Internship Program
- Launched College MAP multiyear group-mentoring program
- Established EY Connect Day, an annual day of service for EY US employees
- Formed the AccessAbilities Professional Network
- Formed the Veterans Network and the International Cultural Exchange Network
- Launched the EY Unplugged: Career Connections program for racially and ethnically diverse staff
- Formed the Americas Inclusiveness Advisory Council (IAC)
- Achieved 100% score on the Disability:IN Disability Equality Index in 2014 and every year since
- Joined the US White House Pay Equity Pledge
- Opened the first EY Neuro‑Diverse Center of Excellence
- Expanded gender-neutral paid parental leave up to 16 weeks
- Ranked No. 1 on DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity in 2017 (and in Hall of Fame every year since)
- Launched Pathways to Parenthood, giving aspiring parents up to $25,000 toward the cost of assisted reproductive technology procedures, adoption and surrogacy
- Joined the CEO Action Pledge for Diversity & Inclusion
- Appointed first woman to US Chair and Managing Partner
- Hosted first Day of Understanding to further foster a culture of inclusion
- Launched Pathways to Transition, offering coverage of $25,000 for gender transition-related expenses
- Released the Global Digital Accessibility policy
- Released the USEC Board Diversity Statement
- Ranked No. 1 on Working Mother magazine’s 100 Best Companies
- Released commitments to anti-racism in the US
- US Chair and Managing Partner signed Disability:IN’s CEO to CEO commitment to disability inclusion
- Launched Inclusive Leadership for All training
- Celebrated Martin Luther King Jr. Day as an official firm holiday in the US
- Expanded the Bridging the Digital Divide initiative to additional US cities
- Achieved 100% score on the Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index for the 16th year
- Issued first EY DEI transparency report
- Launched the EY Career Path Accelerator
- Served as an inaugural supporter of the Ascend Impact Fund
- Announced intention to pursue MLT Black Equity at Work certification
- Increased Pathways to Parenthood and Pathways to Transition support to $50,000
- Established the EY Social Justice Fund and the committee that oversees it
- Extended benefits for Military Leave of Absence program to 18 months
- Launched Entrepreneurs Access Network (EAN), an immersive executive program, to support Black and Latinx-owned companies achieve growth
A strategic approach to pursuing our DEI goals
Ernst & Young LLP (EY US) remains steadfast in our commitment to creating long-term value for our clients and living our purpose of building a better working world. With diversity, equity and inclusiveness (DEI) among our core values, we believe that a better working world is one that is fair to all people. From recruiting to internal talent practices, community investments and exceptional client service, diversity, equity and inclusiveness are critical in helping us to fulfill our purpose and spark positive change.
DEI is an integral part of both our business strategy and our working culture. This focus is reinforced by the EY US Board Diversity Statement signed by our US Executive Committee, which is the highest EY leadership body in the US. With this foundation of leadership accountability, we’ve set key DEI priorities for our firm that align our focus and drive strategic execution.
EY US key DEI priorities
Continue to build a workforce that reflects diversity across a broad range of differences at all levels
Cultivate an inclusive culture committed to anti-racism where all differences are valued, practices are equitable and everyone experiences a sense of belonging
Foster an environment where our people are inspired and equipped to team and lead inclusively in their interactions every day
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A strategic approach to pursuing our DEI goals
How we execute on these priorities is critical and we are pursuing measurable progress with energy and intention in four interconnected focus areas
- Prepare all of our people for success
- Cultivate an environment to drive equity and inclusion
Clients and communities
- Advance our DEI platform and ambitions
Integrate DEI into all aspects of EY experiences and drive accountability across the organization
Our most vital DEI work starts internally within our organization. This focus area informs our approach to recruiting, career development and well-being, among other talent processes. By elevating equitable workplace experiences and applying deliberate rigor to how we establish connection and belonging, we are preparing our people for success at EY US and in the marketplace.
An environment that advances equity and inclusiveness is built on a culture of introspection and personal accountability. To achieve this, we are activating inclusive behaviors and allyship through education, integration with our talent processes, communication and our people-driven networks.
Clients and communities
To realize long-term value for our clients and communities, we leverage our competencies to enable sustainable and inclusive outcomes for our stakeholders. This focus area governs the DEI solutions we offer our clients, our economic equity work with entrepreneurs and diverse suppliers, and how we advance our anti‑racism efforts.
While the list below is not exhaustive, these EY US commitments demonstrate critical elements of our ongoing DEI focus:
Foster representational leadership
We committed to a five‑year plan to foster the successful matriculation of our high‑performing senior managers into our partnership ranks in a manner that better reflects the diversity of our society. Our ambition is to achieve 50% representation for women and racially and ethnically diverse (R&ED) professionals at our partner rank by 2025. We’ve achieved 44% representation at the partner rank as of July 2021.
Drive pay equity
EY US is committed to pay equity for our partners and people. Equity in compensation is a business imperative, and we promote fair practices for all our people. In direct support of this commitment, we have developed processes and policies that promote and enable pay equity. For example, we have a rigorous annual compensation planning process that provides salary increases based on role, market analysis, performance, internal pay equity and affordability. We also employ consultants to conduct an annual pay gap analysis across our US employee population. This assessment informs internal market adjustments as part of our compensation increase process, and our salary increases for all employees are modeled with a consistent approach across all genders, races and ethnicities.
Enhance parity in career progression
Under the direct sponsorship of the US Executive Committee (USEC), we have committed to hiring, promotion and appointment processes that promote parity in career progression for our women and racially and ethnically diverse team members.
Embed DEI in all our processes
We’ve committed to embedding DEI principles in all of our talent and business processes, including, but not limited to:
- Recruiting and onboarding
- Experiences and assignments
- Career management
- Corporate responsibility
- Public policy
Raise the bar on accountability
We have committed to holding our leadership teams and partners, principals, managing directors and directors (PPMDDs) accountable for inclusive leadership through our performance management process. For example, PPMDDs must demonstrate inclusive leadership to receive our highest performance ratings.
Champion anti-racism initiatives
We have made our anti‑racism commitments a core part of the future we’re building for our firm, and we’ve undertaken a sustained effort to combat the racism and inequities that are still so pervasive in our communities. We have worked diligently to fulfill our original anti‑racism commitments, under which we’ve facilitated crucial listening sessions, made investments in Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and social justice organizations, and evaluated our internal business and talent processes. The foundational anti‑racism framework of action, awareness and accountability guides our efforts across business functions to combat racism, inequity and discrimination of underrepresented communities.
Anti-racism means actively and deliberately opposing systemic and individual racism and racial bias to promote racial justice and equitable opportunities for all.
Provide continuous DEI learning opportunities
We’re committed to developing and building inclusive teaming and leadership skills for all of our people across all ranks and roles, through an ever‑expanding suite of learnings, resources and tools for individuals, teams and leadership.