Inclusiveness Leaders and Champions Support Diversity Efforts Throughout Ernst & Young

Diversity is a strategic imperative at Ernst & Young, receiving full support from CEO Lou Pagnutti. As part of that strategy, the firm has identified various leaders to ensure the value of diversity filters down throughout the organization.

Heading the charge is the Inclusiveness Leader, who leads a broad network of local office committees (gender, ethnicity, LGBTA), which help with the execution of various programs and events.

There is also a network of Inclusiveness Champions, comprised of partners and managers selected from each department in the company. Their role is to ensure inclusiveness is being considered during the performance evaluation and career development process.

For example, Inclusiveness Champions are always present at yearly roundtables where managers to discuss their team and assign them ratings. These ratings determine the type of work employees will be given in the upcoming year and whether they should be promoted. Meetings are led by employees’ direct managers, but other managers who have worked with them can weigh in.

The champions listen to the discussion to ensure only tangible examples are factors as opposed to anything that could be a cultural misunderstanding. If there are cultural undertones, they will help identify them and dispel any myths or misconceptions.

Ernst & Young also runs diversity training. About 90 per cent of senior managers and partners have participated in this training. Last year senior staff accountants participated for the first time. Since they lead teams directly, this is a vital step in ensuring that change makes its way from the top down. The Inclusiveness Leader will work to ensure that more employees receive the training.

Those who have participated agree their awareness has been raised, but are asking for more training. Such requests from line managers are a sign that the training is bringing about positive change and has resulted in developing further curriculum around issues of diversity.

Tips for Employers

  • To ensure vibrant employee affinity groups across a large organization, create a senior-level position who is responsible for leading these groups and supporting them in the execution of various programs and events.
  • Ensure diversity and culture is considered during employee performance reviews by including inclusivity champions in annual performance meetings.

Ernst & Young provides a range of services, including accounting and auditing, tax reporting and operations, tax advisory, business risk services, technology and security risk services, transaction advisory, and human capital services. In 2006 Ernst & Young won the Large Employer Immigrant Success (IS) Award. The TRIEC awards recognize companies in the Greater Toronto Area that excel at recruiting, retaining and promoting skilled immigrants.

Find Your Way