The Race Equality Award: EY

Award Type: 

Finalist for Business in the Community's Race Equality Award 2019

EY: Targeting the promotion of ethnic minority leaders to create more diverse and successful business 

As a global leader in assurance and tax services, EY knows that it needs great people, from diverse backgrounds, to deliver excellent service for its clients. Recognising it has “inadequate” ethnic representation at senior levels, the business has set about changing that. 

It has refreshed its UK diversity and inclusion strategy to include a real focus on race – and specifically to identify and help advance ethnic minority talent into leadership roles. The goal of the Future Leaders Programme (FLP) is to support ‘high potential’ ethnic minority senior managers who are at least four years away from partnership to thrive within the business. The targets: to increase the ethnic diversity of leaders by 1% a year; and, crucially, to increase white engagement in the race agenda across EY. 

The programme offers participants three one-day learning sessions about leadership, but also encouraging conversations about race and unlocking potential of candidates that might be ‘hidden’ because of their background. Then there are coaching discussions, workshops and webinars on race and privilege in the workplace. 

It is still early days, but EY says the staff retention figures look good. Although 7% of FLP participants have left the firm, that compares to 14% in their peer comparison group. And the current leadership pipeline has a good proportion of ethnic minorities: 21% for the next two years. 

The FLP has already touched at least 200 people directly with conversations about race in the workplace, creating positive energy for change. 

The information in this impact story has been supplied by EY