Fostering Workplace Diversity: The Exceptional EY Story

By Published August 28, 2017

Around the world, the war for great talent acquisition is only becoming more competitive, with opportunities emerging for all kinds of talent pools. Moreover, ideas like workplace diversity and inclusion are gaining grounds as—talent is all around us, coming from developed and emerging markets, traditional and start-up organizations, and different kinds of academic backgrounds.

In today’s ever-changing global economy, acknowledging the altering landscape of talent, understanding their different priorities and goals, and developing talent strategies to include them, and of course embracing workplace diversity is key for any business to succeed. Having a comprehensive mix of diverse talent in your organization is not just impervious to the future success of a business or broader society; it is simply the right thing to do.


Smart companies reflect the reality of workplace diversity in the combined maquillage of their employees. Their leaders understand that yesterday’s workforce cannot lead them into tomorrow. Most leaders perceive diversity and inclusion as imperative to business. Other senior HR leaders such as Cynthia Marshall of AT&T echo similar sentiments. The chief diversity officer at the Dallas-based company opines, “to serve the people and populace that they want to help, a genuinely diverse group of employees, vendors, and suppliers are required.” At&T does attract a diverse talent pipeline of applicants by collaborating with universities that help minority students prepare for work. It even supports employees who are underrepresented through mentorship programs.

Driving Innovation and Performance

However, diversity is not just about representing or accommodating a country’s demographics. It is also about innovation and driving performance. Companies that take a step ahead and genuinely embrace workplace diversity, including gender and ethnic diversity are 15 percent and 35 percent respectively are more likely to outperform those companies that do not. Observe the following image:


Researchers have revealed that organizations that focus on developing and nurturing workplace diversity tend to bring in more sales revenue, increased number of customers and course higher profits.

Let’s focus on one such example:

Diversity and Inclusion: The Exceptional EY Story

Recently, Ernst Young (EY) LLP was included in the #1 position on DiversityInc’s Top 50 Companies for Diversity and Inclusion list. This marked the firm’s 9th consecutive year ranked in the top 10 and the 14th time on the list for excelling in workplace diversity.

In the words of Stephen R. Howe Jr., EY US Chairman and Managing Partner and EY Americas Managing Partner. “Across EY, we recognize that our strength comes from our diversity. We also know that an inclusive culture that values our people’s unique perspectives is critical to driving quality and innovation for our clients – and a better working world for all of us”.

EY views workplace diversity as a vital and strategic vantage point. They believe and live up to the idea that teams who maximize the power of different opinions and embrace diversity, perspectives and cultural differences – will eventually succeed in the global marketplace.

EY firmly believes that diversity is about differences and the organization highly values individual differences. Therefore, fostering and nurturing workplace diversity is all about leveraging these differences to achieve better business results. They believe in creating a workspace where every employee feels valued, can bring in their differences to work, and can contribute to the best of their abilities.

EY has developed and rolled out one such tool named PTR that stands for – Preference, Tradition and Requirement, a decision-making strategy used extensively by the company. It asks managers, to pause and consider every aspect of workplace diversity, roping in inclusion as well. PTR challenges leaders to assess their preference towards candidates whom they deem somewhat similar to themselves; consider their decision-making abilities and make their choice based on past requirements rather than the first two factors.

EY’s Diversity and Inclusiveness Strategy: A Quick Look

While PTR is one component in fostering workplace diversity, EY’s overall diversity and inclusion aim at performing the following:

  • Create the highest performing team through the development of each team across borders.
  • EY continually strengthen the diverse mix of team members and leaders by removing all existing barriers in their existing talent pipeline.
  • Win over the market through the process of diversity and inclusiveness. EY allows its people to use their unique skills and talent to innovate and bring about new ideas on board consistently.
  • Recruiting and retaining the most diverse talent. EY continually aims at recruiting the best people from various backgrounds, skills, experiences, and perspectives to further enrich and foster their strong workplace diversity culture.
  • Leaders at EY continually aims at equipping individuals with the skills required to lead diversity and inclusivity, and that too with a global mindset.

Few statistics to ponder upon on diversity and gender

  • In 2014 46% of all hire in EY in the Americas were women
  • Women comprised 35% of the total promotion in the Americas
  • Since the beginning of gender-equality efforts, women holding top positions at EY has risen to 23%
  • Women represent 42% of its client-serving professionals.

From the EY story on workplace diversity, it can be concluded that weaving inclusiveness and emphasizing the same, throughout the fabric of the business, tapping the best out of the employees, highlighting leadership involvement and support hold significance for fostering diversity. By showing employees that as an organization, you honestly care about nurturing an environment that holds a possibility for everyone – your organization may end up reaping the rewards you probably never imagined.


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