'Discover EY' Brings in a Record Amount of Students

Since the program began in 2006, minorities now represent 37 percent of total full-time professionals at Ernst & Young LLP.

EY CEO Mark Weinberger addresses the participating students. / EY

A record 180 high-achieving, ethnically diverse students from across 92 U.S. campuses participated in the 11th annual Discover EY (No. 3 on the DiversityInc Top 50 Companies list) event in New York City last week. The program is designed to address the underrepresentation of minorities in professional services through leadership development, networking and hands-on learning activities.

Parallel to Discover EY, an elite group of university faculty and administrators from more than 25 top undergraduate university programs across the U.S. convened for the 9th annual Campus Diversity and Inclusiveness Roundtable — where they shared best practices for the attraction, retention and development of the country's most promising minority students in business schools and more.

Discover EY

The three-day, all expense-paid, Discover EY event invited participating college students to take part in interactive team-building exercises, leadership seminars, networking opportunities and conversations with some of the global EY organization's top leaders, including Mark Weinberger, EY Global Chairman and CEO; Kate Barton, EY Americas Vice Chair, Tax; Dan Black, EY Americas Recruiting Leader, Natasha Stough, EY Americas Director of Campus Recruiting; and Ken Bouyer, EY Americas Director of Inclusiveness Recruiting. The attendees, who are primarily college sophomores and juniors, will be eligible to interview for internships with EY following the conference.

"Discover EY is one of the many ways our organization seeks to open doors for high-achieving future talent, providing insight and transparency into EY's culture and its many opportunities," said Mark Weinberger.

"We are seeing a tremendous demand for top talent across various disciplines to serve our diverse clients and our communities. Given the current climate of the global workforce, we will need to build diverse, high performing teams that can drive innovative solutions in the US and globally."

Due in part to the continued success and expansion of this program since it launched in 2006, minorities now represent 37 percent of total full-time professionals at Ernst & Young LLP coming from campuses in the U.S. To date, the program has reached more than 1,500 students and many past Discover EY participants have gone on to complete successful internships and today, are employed full-time by the firm.

Campus Diversity and Inclusiveness Roundtable

The annual EY Campus Diversity and Inclusiveness Roundtable provides college and university business leaders with the opportunity to participate in forums with EY leaders to share leading diversity and inclusiveness best practices that can positively impact retention of top underrepresented minority and female students.

This year's roundtable sessions included:

  • Unconscious bias and stereotype threat and the effects both have on campus environments
  • How universities are investing in the growth and development of their underrepresented minority students
  • What strategies universities and companies are using to create a more inclusive culture for underrepresented students and talent

Many successful university programs have been implemented as a result of the Roundtable. Two successful programs implemented by universities include:

  • The Cornell University Men of Color Seminar: This Cornell course covers networking, developing leadership presence, and explores the negative impact of stereotypes in the workplace. In addition, participants take part in a learning session focused on best practices to help top underrepresented minority students graduate.
  • The University of Washington's Young Executives of Color (YEOC): This free nine-month college pipeline program hosted by the University of Washington's Foster School of Business and funded by Ernst & Young LLP. The program currently serves 175 high school sophomores, juniors and seniors from 75 schools in the state of Washington. As part of the program, students attend sessions on the UW campus one Saturday every month for college preparation, business lectures, professional development and powerful mentorship.

"At EY, we always look forward to learning about what new innovative and inclusive strategies top universities are establishing to attract, engage and retain underrepresented students not only in the accounting profession, but across various disciplines," said Ken Bouyer.

"The Roundtable enables faculty members to learn from their peers, while hearing from business leaders on how they promote underrepresented talent throughout their respective organizations."

To learn more about Ernst & Young LLP's campus recruiting efforts, Discover EY, or the Campus Diversity and Inclusiveness Roundtable, visit www.ey.com.

Middle-market Companies Seizing Growth by Embracing AI, Diverse Talent Pools and Sweeping Regulation Over Next 12 Months

EY survey shows 87% of middle-market companies plan revenue growth of more than 6% this year, significantly outpacing GDP forecasts

Originally Published by EY.

Middle-market companies across the globe are significantly more optimistic about business conditions and opportunities than last year, according to the findings of the annual EY Growth Barometer released at the EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year Forum. Growth prospects for all major economies are finally improving in 2018, with International Monetary Fund GDP forecasts currently at 3.9% for the year. Amid this positive background, business leaders are bullish about revenue growth.

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Regulatory Complexity is the Greatest Barrier to Widespread Blockchain Adoption, While Regulatory Changes are the Primary Driver of Broader Integration, According to EY Poll

Organizations are making an active effort to integrate blockchain into their business functions as they look to reap the benefits of the technology, with 60% expecting the financial/professional services industry to see the most blockchain breakthroughs in the next two years.

Originally Published by EY.

Regulatory complexity is having a significant impact on widespread blockchain adoption, according to an EY poll of senior professionals who attended the EY Global Blockchain Summit in New York. Sixty one percent see regulatory complexity as the biggest barrier to widespread adoption, followed by integration with legacy technology (51%) and a lack of general understanding of blockchain's capabilities (49%).

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Originally Published by National Organization on Disability.

On November 1st, the National Organization on Disability held our Corporate Leadership Council Fall Luncheon and Roundtable. Hosted at Sony's New York offices, the event centered on the topic of mental health in the workplace.

Members of our Board of Directors and executives from nearly 40 companies held a candid conversation, heard from business leaders, and participated in an insightful Q&A where successful strategies were discussed to accommodate and support employees with mental illness in the workplace.

"Mental illness is the single biggest cause of disability worldwide," said Craig Kramer, a panelist at the event and Chair of Johnson & Johnson's Global Campaign on Mental Health. "One out of four people will have a clinically diagnosable mental illness at some point in their lives," he continued. Another 20 to 25% of the population will be caregivers to loved ones with a mental illness.

The costs are staggering. "In the coming decades, mental illness will account for more than half of the economic burden of all chronic diseases, more than cancer, diabetes, and chronic respiratory diseases combined…. It's trillions of dollars," said Kramer.

From an employer's perspective, the need for a successful strategy to deal with mental illness in the workplace is clear. But what are the most effective ways to confront this challenge? Roundtable participants discussed a wide range of ideas and success stories aimed at de-stigmatizing mental health and incorporating the issue into wider conversations around talent, productivity, and inclusion.


  1. Be empathetic. "The most important workplace practice [with respect to mental health] is empathy," said NOD President Carol Glazer. Empathy is critical for normalizing conversations about mental health, but also for maximizing productivity. "A feeling of psychological safety is important," said Lori Golden, a panelist and Abilities Strategy Leader for Ernst & Young; and this sense of safety requires the empathy of colleagues to flourish.
  2. Tell stories. "Nothing is more activating of empathy than for people to share their powerful stories," said Dr. Ronald Copeland, NOD Board member and Senior Vice President of National Diversity and Inclusion Strategy and Policy and Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer for Kaiser Permanente. Copeland's organization partners with the renowned nonprofit, Story Corps, to capture the stories of Kaiser Permanente employees, and also provides a platform on the company intranet for employees to communicate in a safe space. Both Craig Kramer and Lori Golden also shared examples of how their companies provide opportunities to share their stories and "start the conversation, break the silence," as Kramer put it.
  3. Model from the top. Carol Glazer received a standing ovation at the luncheon for her account of her own experiences with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). This type of executive-level modeling sends a powerful message that a company is committed to improving mental health for all employees. Lori Golden shared how EY had experienced great success with a program where top-level managers host office-specific events and share stories of mental illness or addiction that they are personally connected to – either about their colleagues or loved ones or, in a surprisingly high number of instances, about themselves. Senior leadership setting the example conveys that this is a forum in which employees can feel comfortable sharing.
  4. Communicate peer-to-peer. "We all know that there's greater trust of our own peers than there is of the organization," said Lori Golden. So to build trust, EY "took it to the grass roots," creating formal opportunities for employees to have conversations about mental health and asking other ERGs to co-sponsor these events. Craig Kramer also noted that Johnson & Johnson had simply folded mental health issues into their global disability ERGs, eventually building the world's second-largest mental health ERG by piggy-backing on existing infrastructure and leveraging existing connections.
  5. Be flexible. Accommodating [the fact that people live busy, complex lives] gets you better buy-in…and keeps production pretty high," suggested Dr. Copeland. A representative from one Council company concurred, explaining how their company has recently instituted a new policy of paid time off for caregivers on top of federally-funded leave. "Being in a culture in which we measure what you produce and not whether you show up in person all day, every day, and where if you can't be there, you negotiate how the deliverables will get done and in what time frame…is immensely helpful to people who themselves have mental illness issues or addiction or are caring for those who do and may need some flexibility," summarized Lori Golden.
  6. Build a trustworthy Employee Action Plan. Many employees do not access or even trust their organization's internal resources. According to Craig Kramer, the percentage of calls placed to most company Employee Action Plans (EAPs) regarding mental health is "in the low single digits," while "if you look at your drug spend, you'll find that around 50% is [related to] mental health." The people answering those calls must be trained in mental health issues, and employees also need to be assured that EAPs are truly confidential.

While revealing and accommodating mental illness remains a massive challenge in the workplace and beyond, a number of successful strategies are emerging for tackling this challenge – many of them pioneered by companies in NOD's Corporate Leadership Council.

EY: Women CEOs’ Growth Ambitions Significantly Outpacing the Market, Despite Their Ongoing Challenges in Accessing Capital

The EY survey, based on views of CEOs from middle-market companies across the globe, showed that this optimism is in line with improving business conditions internationally.

Originally Published by EY.
  • 30% of female-led companies are targeting growth of more than 15% in next 12 months, compared with just 5% among rest of market
  • 52% of women-led companies have no access to external funding, compared to 30% of male-led companies
  • 17% of respondents think that access to capital is the biggest barrier to growth

Despite encountering more obstacles to accessing capital, female-run businesses are targeting more ambitious growth margins than male-led companies, according to the EY survey Is the x chromosome the x factor for business leadership?, unveiled at the EY Entrepreneurial Winning WomenTM Asia-Pacific and Japan conference this week in Tokyo. The survey, based on views of CEOs from middle-market companies across the globe, showed that this optimism is in line with improving business conditions internationally.

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