In 2014, we launched our EY D&I Culture Change Continuum — our roadmap for success. It illustrates in four stages the journey we are on, individually and as an organization, to maximize the power of our differences to build the highest-performing teams.
We also know that culture change does not happen in a straight line everywhere or at a predictable pace; setbacks and unexpected spurts forward are all part of the change dynamic. We continue to strive for further progress, both internally and in how we serve our clients.
A company is only as strong as its ability to include and harness the collective talents and perspectives of every single team member. That’s why cultivating a culture of belonging where everyone can contribute their full potential powers our growth and success as a firm and enables us to deliver the most innovative and thoughtful solutions to our clients as we reimagine our future together.
How to use this report
The data charts within this report are designed to be interactive. Explore these features:
- Use the yellow arrows to navigate between data charts within each subset
- Hover over a color block to view data percentages
- Click within the key to filter the data displayed
For purposes of the data charts, racially and ethnically diverse (R&ED) includes American Indian/Alaskan Native, Black or African American, Asian, Hispanic or Latinx, Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander or two or more races/ethnicities. For detailed race/ethnicity bar graphs, individual race/ethnicity categories that are less than 1% of our population are not shown.
We have organized the data within this report in three chapters:
- Chapter 1: Pathways to transformative impact includes gender and race/ethnicity demographic data across our EY leadership groups, partners/principals, managing directors and directors, and our workforce. It also includes insights in how we are continuing to drive progress through the commitment of our leadership, including our commitment to anti-racism, supplier diversity and our pay equity statement.
- Chapter 2: Pathways to belonging highlights how we recognize and support all differences, including veterans, people with disabilities and the LGBT+ community, through programs, focus areas and initiatives that aim to cultivate an inclusive culture where our people feel a sense of belonging.
- Chapter 3: Pathways to opportunity shares our focus on developing all people, across differences, as professionals and as leaders through differential investments and continuous learning programs. It also includes gender and race/ethnicity demographic data across EY US partner/principal, managing director and director promotions; experienced and campus recruitment; and internships.
Pathways to transformative impact
We measure our results and recognize individuals who serve as role models and sponsors, live our values and demonstrate inclusive leadership on a daily basis.
We asked all of our EY partners/principals to support our roadmap for progress in their own leadership, and we measure this in performance management. Our leadership groups are also held accountable to actively sponsor women and racially and ethnically diverse professionals, which is a critical lever in our approach to D&I.
Our continued focus on sponsorship and opportunities has resulted in increased representation of women across our top leadership teams. The Peterson Institute for International Economics (PIIE) study, “Is Gender Diversity Profitable? Evidence from a Global Survey,” indicates that 30% of women in management is the economic benchmark for stronger financial results. We’re proud that across US representation in our top leadership groups, we’re above the PIIE benchmark. The presence of women in top executive positions at EY US has increased from 0% to more than 30% since starting our gender equity journey, with our US Executive Committee having an increase of 7% women representation from 2019 to 2020.
Across racially and ethnically diverse representation, in 2020, our US Partner/Principal Council increased by 4% more Asian representation. Our Americas Inclusiveness Advisory Council (IAC) also increased its racially and ethnically diverse representation, with an increase of 4% more Black leaders from 2019 to 2020.
With an extended lookback lens, our racially and ethnically diverse partner and staff headcount has more than doubled in representation since 2000 and has increased steadily over the last five years. Additionally, representation of women and racially and ethnically diverse partners and principals has increased 5% and 6%, respectively, over the last five years.
Our representation of Black (2%), Latinx (3%) and Asian (9%) partners and principals at EY US is slightly higher than the representation cited in the recent survey by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), which shows 1% Black, 2% Latinx and 4% Asian representation at the partner level.
Nearly a quarter of our largest accounts are led by women or racially and ethnically diverse partners/principals (or both).
This firm was founded on diversity, inclusion and equity. We have been innovators in this area for a long time…Not only is it in our DNA, it’s what we’ve practiced for many, many years. Against all the other odds, we were one of the first to bring in a Black partner to our firm in 1971. In my opinion, this is who we are. I think we should embrace that. This is our legacy.
Defining our leadership:
- Our EY US Executive Committee (USEC) is the main governance body of the US member firm, with responsibilities for the management of all US operations.
- Our EY US Leadership team is our extended leadership team for the US member firm inclusive of regional, service line, functional and specialized teams such as brand, marketing and communications; markets; and our innovation teams.
- Our US Partner/Principal Council (PPC) approves certain governance decisions, such as leadership appointments by the USEC, material transactions and any matter brought before the partners for voting. The PPC also serves in an advisory role to the USEC on matters under the purview of the USEC upon request.
- Our Americas Inclusiveness Advisory Council (IAC) is composed of influential EY leaders from across the Americas with representation across every service line, region, function and employee resource group (professional network). The IAC meets regularly to share leading practices, explore challenges and collaborate on high‑impact actions to advance the EY culture of inclusiveness.
- Our EY US Distributed leadership team is comprised of EY US office managing partners; service line and account managing partners; and market segment leaders.
EY US supports equitable opportunities for all of our people and commits to a diverse workforce. Through equitable sponsorship and focus on equitable opportunities, we look to increase representation of women and racially and ethnically diverse professionals in our leadership ranks.
We are pleased that our representation of gender and race/ethnicity has remained consistent over the past three years across our workforce at all ranks. With our ongoing rigorous focus on recruiting, retention and sponsorship, our aspiration is that representation will increase in the future.
Diversity is a winning strategy for innovation. The ability to access the breadth and depth of expertise and the diversity of experiences from all the different people within the firm and bring those to bear on our clients’ problems and internally, is incredibly powerful. That is one of the benefits we’re accruing from our long commitment to D&I.
We continue to make progress
We need to have a different conversation on what it means to have a diverse, equitable and inclusive culture to drive further and faster change. As part of that, we need to look critically at how we recruit, develop, promote and educate our people on what it means to be anti-racist.
Our EY US commitments to anti-racism
EY is taking actions as a US firm to eradicate racism and discrimination against the Black community by leveraging our influence to drive strategic change in our firm, in the communities where we work and through public policy. Understanding that we can do more to advance justice, inclusion and equity, we are committed to:
- Evaluating internal talent and business processes to further advance equity across race.
- Investing $3 million in organizations committed to fighting social injustices, including inappropriate use of force in law enforcement, incarceration of Black males, health care disparities and economic inequalities in the Black community. We have invested $1 million in each of the following:
- The National Urban League
- NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund
- Charitable contributions throughout the communities in which we work and live, distributed by our three geographic regions and our Financial Services Organization
- Contributing a collective total of $4 million to four historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) to help increase the number of Black Americans in professional services. We have invested $1 million in each of the following HBCUs:
- Hampton University (Hampton, VA)
- Howard University (Washington, DC)
- Morehouse College (Atlanta, GA)
- Spelman College (Atlanta, GA)
- Leveraging our people resources and building coalitions of public and private organizations to bridge the digital divide distance-learning gap for underserved students.
- Expanding the EY Entrepreneurs Access Network (EAN), our newly launched program focused on Black and Latinx entrepreneurs. The program leverages our significant Entrepreneur Of The Year™ platform to help connect EAN participants to peers, sponsors, capital and customers.
- Using our powerful platform to drive policy change as well as lead actions for change in our communities with our vendors and others with whom we do business.
- Investing in our communities through employee volunteer programs and additionally declaring the following:
- August 28, 2020, was designated as a day of service for any US professionals participating in the March on Washington, DC.
- Starting in 2021, we began observing Martin Luther King Jr. Day as a firmwide paid holiday. US professionals can choose to participate in EY-sponsored anti-racism activities throughout the year, including on MLK Day.
The EY Environmental Social Governance Services commitment is to inspire diverse suppliers to think big and be confident in their ability to provide high quality products and services that meet our needs. Through our inclusive procurement initiative, we aim to create a distinctive experience for suppliers by teaming together to develop innovative solutions and strategies as we respond with a diverse mindset to our clients and communities around us.
Supplier diversity: The EY Environmental Social Governance Services (ESGS) team’s purpose is to create a distinctive experience for small and diverse-owned businesses by teaming together to deliver innovative services and strategies to our clients and communities around us.
- In FY20, 28% of our addressable spend was with small and diverse-owned businesses, which accounts for a 21% increase over FY19 spend.
- To achieve this success, EY Procurement leadership has set performance goals, policies and processes to build an inclusive supply chain. ESGS drove connectivity and engagement by facilitating over 17,000 hours of training and outreach, impacting 4,847 small and diverse businesses. Learn more about ESGS.
- EY US committed to spend $100m with women-owned businesses by 2020. The period of spend was 2017–2020, and we spent $313m, which significantly exceeded our goal.
We value the unique insights and talents of EY people across all differences. Inclusive teaming is one of the cornerstones of our culture, and the ways we can deliver the best thinking to our clients.
Pay equity: EY US is committed to pay equity for our partners and staff and a culture of inclusion. Equity in opportunities, advancement and compensation is a business imperative, and we work hard to promote fair practices for all our people, across all genders and all ethnicities. EY leadership fosters equity for all EY people and in the marketplace. In direct support of our commitment, we have processes and policies that focus on equitable work experiences, sponsorship and succession that impact individuals’ opportunities, advancement and compensation at EY US.
In addition to these important efforts, we strive for continued progress both within EY US and in our communities, through our collaboration with other organizations who are committed to meaningful change and transformative impact:
- CEO Action for Diversity and Inclusion: EY US joined other companies to collectively form and officially launch a CEO Action for Diversity Pledge in 2017, led by a steering committee of CEOs and leaders, with 330+ signatories from 85 industries. EY US was one of the signatories to participate in the Day of Understanding, when we encouraged all EY US people to discuss our differences, as a catalyst for weaving such conversations into our DNA.
- Business Coalition for the Equality Act: In March 2018, EY US joined a group of leading US employers supporting the Equality Act, federal legislation that would provide the same basic protections to LGBT+ people as are provided to other protected groups under federal law.
- Amicus Brief: We remain committed to non-discrimination and equity in the workplace. Together with over 200 major corporations, EY US also signed on to the Amicus Brief that was filed with the US Supreme Court in support of LGBT+ equality in the workplace. This Amicus Brief was filed with the US Supreme Court in a trio of cases that were decided in June 2020 with the US Supreme Court ruling, in an historic 6-3 decision, that LGBT+ workers should be protected.
Pathways to belonging
At EY US, we have a commitment to creating a culture where our people feel a sense of belonging.
When employees feel like they belong, they feel valued, understood and seen; their differences are strengths and their contributions matter.
When our people feel they belong, they are more motivated and engaged. A feeling of belonging also significantly reduces stress levels and improves physical health and emotional well-being. Our ability to attract and retain a diverse workforce will be positively impacted by creating an environment of belonging where everyone feels free to be themselves. We also know that belonging is the key ingredient to unlocking the business benefits of D&I. A strong sense of belonging can lead to better collaboration, retention and business performance.
When our people feel they belong, and see that all of their differences are not only valued, but welcomed and encouraged, we can build safety and trust across our teams, and, in turn, add tremendous value to our clients and our firm.
Insights from our People Pulse Survey
To get a pulse check on how we’re doing, we conduct surveys to gather feedback from our people on a variety of topics about their EY experience. We are proud that our inclusion-related responses are some of the highest rated from our people.
|Feel like I belong to a team|
|FY21 People Pulse||2019 Global People Survey||Change|
|Racially and ethnically diverse respondents||84%||81%||+3|
|Prepared to work with different countries and cultures|
|FY21 People Pulse||2019 Global People Survey||Change|
|Racially and ethnically diverse respondents||80%||80%||0|
Hear from our EY people
EY Belonging Barometer
In addition, the 2019 EY Belonging Barometer study uncovered how more than 1,000 employed adult Americans (outside of our EY population) define belonging, what makes them feel like they belong at work and what makes them feel excluded in the workplace. From this study, we know that diversity and belonging are workplace expectations.
At EY US, we define diversity broadly, including dimensions such as cultural background, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, age and abilities — as just a few examples. While not measurable or reportable in the same way as race/ethnicity or gender, we value these differences, and there is intersectionality, too.
EY US works steadily to cultivate a culture of belonging that makes a difference for our Latinx professionals. An environment that promotes transparency, vulnerability and an opportunity to connect with one another helps our professionals bring their full, authentic selves to work every day.
Action-oriented employee resource groups — what we call EY Professional Networks — provide stimulating opportunities for all our professionals from diverse backgrounds to form a community, connect internally and externally, create informal mentoring relationships and strengthen their leadership skills. Our Professional Networks include:
- Black Professional Network
- International Cultural Exchange Network
- Latinx Professional Network
- Pan Asian Professional Network
- Professional Women’s Network
- Today’s Families Network
- Unity – the EY LGBT+ Network
- Veterans Network
We are committed to building the next generation of Asian leaders by providing our people with opportunities to connect with colleagues, build networks and further develop skills to help advance them throughout their career.
When co-founding our LGBT+ network, Unity, more than 20 years ago, I never imagined how it would impact me personally. I have a network of LGBT+ supportive friends both at EY US and around the globe who have influenced everything from benefits and transitioning in our workplaces to marriage equality in the US and abroad. I’m proud to work for a company that supports me in bringing my authenticity to my work, making a difference every day for others and truly building a better working world.
Through professional networks and other initiatives, we recognize, support and celebrate all differences at EY US.
Advancing disability inclusion
EY cofounder Arthur Young was trained as a lawyer. After losing much of his eyesight and becoming deaf, he could no longer practice courtroom law. He turned to the then-emerging profession of accounting, which offered opportunities to use his skills in new ways. His disability drove him to innovation and entrepreneurship, which remain cornerstones of our organization today.
Everyone has a unique range of physical, sensory, neurological, cognitive and socioemotional abilities that can change throughout our lives. At EY US, we all work together to foster a culture in which all our people feel included and enabled to do their best work. One focus is making sure we promote digital accessibility to improve usability and allowing people to access our content in a variety of ways. It is about providing all our people with the tools, resources and information they need to do their best work and maximize the value created for clients and for our firm.
Our steadfast commitment to helping people with disabilities work comfortably and productively is illustrated through our ongoing investment in Professional Networks , educational resources and accessible workspaces. This includes providing accessibility to the technologies we build, buy and deploy. Our inclusive culture enables diverse teams to bring different perspectives and points of view that ultimately result in providing exceptional service to our clients.
We know that our organization is only as robust and sustainable as our ability to include and harness the unique talents of all of our people. Research shows that diverse perspectives drive better business outcomes, and that when people feel a sense of belonging at work, they are healthier and more engaged.
We believe we have a responsibility to promote a dialogue – within EY US and with other organizations – about how disability inclusion leads to better business outcomes and greater feelings of belonging and inclusion.
Team members were featured in a "60 Minutes” segment about the business benefits of hiring individuals on the autism spectrum. With Anderson Cooper reporting, the story looked at the struggles individuals on the autism spectrum can face when finding employment and the business benefits of hiring neurodiverse individuals. Featuring an interview with Kelly Grier, EY US Chair and Managing Partner and Americas Managing Partner, and Hiren Shukla, NCoE Leader, the story looked at the tangible business impact the NCoE team is having on EY US. Learn more.
LGBT+ allyship and advocacy
Through Unity, the EY LGBT+ network, and other advocacy efforts, we aim to help advance social and economic inclusion for all LGBT+ people. Our ambition is to serve as an example to EY clients and other organizations who are looking to increase their LGBT+ inclusion efforts and to offer guidance to others.
Diversity and inclusiveness are everyone’s responsibility. Allyship should create environments where people feel not just supported, but like they truly belong and can flourish with pride.
Supporting our US military veterans
At EY US, our military veterans are transforming our workforce. Veterans bring exceptional leadership, teaming and fresh perspectives. They lead with purpose, tenacity and adaptability and build strong, effective teams that deliver exceptional results for our clients.
Veterans have done so much for our country. Their work and commitment are purpose-driven, and they bring so much to EY, to our teams and clients, and to our communities.
Supporting our working parents
EY progressive policies and culture also expand to our working parents. In April 2016, EY US equalized our fully paid parental leave policy, offering up to 16 weeks of leave for all new parents.
Under our Pathways to Parenthood program, US employees are eligible for a lifetime maximum of $25,000 per family to cover expenses related to infertility, surrogacy and/or adoption. Since 2017, when the Pathways to Parenthood program began, EY US has paid out nearly $5m to almost 1,000 people.
Hear from our EY people: building connections through conversation
We believe that conversations with teammates help build trust and understanding and are crucial for cultivating our culture of belonging for all. Learn more about how we’re encouraging courageous conversations at ey.com/conversations.
Pathways to opportunity
Our focus on developing all people, across all genders, cultures, backgrounds and differences, as professionals and as leaders, continues to drive our progress in D&I and in the marketplace.
Our strategy is twofold. First, we are working to create an inclusive culture where all our processes are equitable and in which all our people are both equipped and expected to team and lead inclusively. Second, we are working to ensure equitable access to experiences and relationships, including mentors, sponsors, feedback and leadership opportunities, that enable advancement and contribute to successful careers. And we will achieve this by holding our business leaders accountable — both by setting high expectations and measuring results.
Our leadership promotions
Ensuring partner/principal candidates are sponsored and have the appropriate competencies and experiences, combined with a more robust pipeline and succession planning effort and strong US Board commitment, has yielded noticeable improvement in women and racially and ethnically diverse partner/principal promotions. We are proud that our EY US promotions to partner/principal show women steadily increasing each year. In our most recent round of promotions, October 2020, 40% of EY US promotions to partner/principal were women, an increase of 7% from the prior year and our largest class ever. We also saw 38% of promotions to partner/principal, managing director and director (PPMDD) ranks were women, a jump of 2% from the prior year.
Across race/ethnicity representation, we saw significant increases in promotions to partner/principal of both Asian and Black professionals, each showing a 5% increase from 2019. Across our PPMDD promotions, we saw a 2% increase of Black promotees from 2019.
We start by hiring the top recruits
EY US was the first of the Big Four firms to assign full-time, partner-level leadership to diversity recruiting. Today, we continue to build upon our strong foundation of attracting diverse talent through:
- A holistic D&I recruiting strategy
- A dedicated team of Inclusiveness Recruiting professionals that consults, coaches and collaborates to attract individuals from underrepresented groups
- A multifaceted sourcing strategy to build a pipeline from high school through partner that includes recruitment from 26 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), as well as professional organizations and a wide array of colleges, universities, community colleges and other strategic alliances
- Facilitating training and education sessions on recruiting diverse professionals and creating a strong and diverse culture
We also offer programs to enhance the professional opportunities of racially and ethnically diverse professionals in the marketplace, helping to prepare them to be successful in their future endeavors. Our strategy is comprehensive across our on-campus, experienced and executive recruiting efforts, and we’ve made progress:
- Racially and ethnically diverse professionals account for 40% of our full-time new hires from college campuses
- Racially and ethnically diverse professionals account for almost 50% of our experienced new hires
- Women account for 48% of our full-time new hires from college campuses
- Women account for 41% of our experienced new hires
We put enormous thought and effort into making our organization a leader in our industry, and one of the most important components of that is a flexible, inclusive environment that respects all people — and everything they bring to the table. We believe that when differences are celebrated, talented people from all backgrounds have the chance to develop, advance and make more meaningful contributions to our clients and our culture.
Enhancing opportunities for racially and ethnically diverse professionals
Our Launch internship program is open to all students who are more than two years from graduation. In support of this program, EY US reaches out to students in organizations that share a mission to bring opportunities to racially and ethnically diverse professionals, such as members of the Association of Latino Professionals for America (ALPFA), the National Association of Black Accountants, Inc. (NABA) and Ascend (Pan-Asian business professionals in North America). Our Launch interns attend training sessions that introduce them to our business, culture, advanced technology and tools, as well as help them develop the soft skills needed to be a successful intern. Learn more about student programs.
Additionally, in 2020, the Ernst & Young Foundation provided $3.3m in scholarships for our intern programs overall, with $2.2m of that going to racially and ethnically diverse students.
Investing in our people’s careers
Our commitment is much broader than recruitment. We invest differentially in professional development programs that help our people drive success within their teams and better serve our clients.
- Ten years of EY Unplugged — This program provides the opportunity for our first-year staff to build relationships with peers, counselors, mentors, allies and sponsors and learn from the experiences of seasoned professionals. We are proud to be celebrating 10 years of this program and its impact on more than 4,400 EY Black, Latinx and Asian professionals to date.
- Diversity conferences — We connect our professionals with valuable learning and networking opportunities at conferences hosted by NABA, ALPFA, Ascend Pan-Asian Leaders, National Black MBA Association and other groups.
- Inclusive Leadership for All – A new web-based, mobile-enabled learning program available to all EY people across all ranks and geographies that is focused on the foundational behaviors of inclusive leadership. This program will help our professionals work effectively across all differences, build strong and lasting relationships, and enhance skills to recognize and address inclusion/exclusion dynamics.
D&I is not a catchphrase - it’s a business imperative. Research tells us organizations that are highly rated in D&I have greater team collaboration, higher revenue growth and higher gross margin.
Impact in the community and marketplace
We also strive to help our people make an impact in the communities in which they work and live. EY College Mentoring for Access and Persistence (MAP) is a multiyear, group-mentoring program dedicated to providing access to higher education for underserved youth in the US. College MAP matches groups of EY volunteer mentors (of all levels, backgrounds and service lines) with groups of local 11th and 12th graders from underserved schools in 38 US cities. Following graduation from high school, students continue to work with mentors to persist in completing their post-secondary goals. Learn more.
In 2020, the Ernst & Young Foundation Scholarship Fund provided $1m in financial support for College MAP students for first-year and ongoing scholarships. This included expanded support during the global health crisis. Through the College MAP Just-in-Time Grant Fund, College MAP scholars who are currently pursuing a university degree received financial support for emergency situations and unexpected needs. The grants cover a variety of unexpected expenses like online learning materials, travel and moving costs — even groceries and other essentials.
EY US staff and US partners and principals are also eligible for EY Student Loan resources through our student loan program benefit, which offers solutions for repaying student loan debt with lower interest.
Purpose-driven and truly transformative leaders never stop learning, and they help our clients do the same. In this rapidly changing world, our professionals gain future-focused credentials through the EY Badges program and build the transformative mindset and tech skill set needed to thrive. The EY organization is the first professional services organization to offer digital badges globally and demonstrate continued commitment to supporting EY professionals in their development.
We have made demonstrable progress on our D&I journey, but getting to where we aspire to be requires continued bold action and steadfast commitment. Our strategy to accelerate our progress starts from day one – recruiting talent in new ways, helping our people to further develop inclusive leadership skills at every level, and supporting the equity and parity of experiences for all of our people.
EY Tech MBA
In 2020, the EY organization announced the first-ever fully accredited corporate MBA that is available regardless of role or position and entirely free to all 300,000-plus EY employees in over 150 countries. The EY Tech MBA, offered in association with Hult International Business School, builds on EY Badges to help EY people develop both the mindset and skill set to navigate the challenges ahead. The EY Tech MBA by Hult is a significant step toward achieving our goal of becoming the world leader in skills development. The MBA is a unique opportunity for EY people to develop both the technological skill sets and business mindsets they will need to continue providing exceptional client service and to thrive in tomorrow’s workplace.
We’re proud when respected organizations recognize our efforts. The EY organization was inducted into DiversityInc magazine’s Top 50 Hall of Fame in 2018 and has maintained this status in 2019 and 2020. And, in 2020, we were also proud to achieve the No. 1 ranking on Working Mother magazine’s 100 Best Companies list.
See other EY awards.
The bar continues to rise on inclusiveness and belonging for all, and at EY US we are committed to moving forward intentionally and inclusively for our people, our clients and the communities we serve. We welcome any discussions you may be interested in having on this important topic.