Meet Ernst and Young (EY), a global professional services firm that provides advisory, assurance, tax and transaction services to their clients in a wide variety of markets. We are also very proud and humbled to share that they are one of the sponsors of Collegiate Women In Business (CWIB)! Among the 260,000 employees worldwide, there is a culture of high performing teams who bring diverse perspectives together, to work towards their motto of “building a better working world.” We spoke with CWIB member, Shannon Keye, and campus recruiter, Wes Barrow to find out how Ernst and Young builds a better working world while simultaneously supporting women in business.
One way that EY is building a better working world is with “big initiatives of going digital, trying to push engagement teams to use digital platforms for everything that they do. This builds a better working world because the services they provide help their clients to help others,” says Shannon Keye, who has accepted a full-time offer after completing two internships with the firm. “[The company] is forward thinking and wants to beat the rat race to digital ties.” EY also aims to support “high performing teams with diverse mindsets by sourcing [diverse] talent through our campus recruiting and helping candidates that historically haven’t been in the candidate pipeline. [For example], EY hires people with autism in Philadelphia,” according to Wes Barrow.
“Being able to give back to the community in a variety of ways,” is one of Wes’s favorite parts about the company culture at EY. “[Ernst and Young] is big into community service through internal programs called Connect Day where we shut the firm down and go out and serve the local community entirely for one business day. We also have a program called College Map where we go to underserved high schools and talk about career progression and transitioning into the workforce out of high school or into college pursuit.”
When it comes to women at Ernst and Young, there are multiple resources to guarantee that they get the support they need to succeed. One of those resources is the Professional Networks, which are “organizations within the firm that give you the opportunity to meet people of any level. You can ask them for help and lean on them if you need to,” says Shannon. “You can network with other employees that you share a culture, race, or gender with, such as other African Americans or women.” Wes participates in a “working parent network because I’ve got [two sons and a daughter]. I’m able to connect with other parents about going from the younger to teenage years. We’re all about connecting and incorporating values.” EY also aims to support women within the firm and in business in general through “conferences geared towards the increase [of[ women [in certain fields] such as the Women in Technology Conference that we use as a recruiting tool, and also looking at all aspects of the firm to make sure we have a good gender balance.” According to general data, Wes says that more than fifty percent of hires are women!
Both Shannon Keye and Wes Barrow agree that the opportunities and relationships built are their favorite aspects of working for Ernst and Young. Shannon “really likes the mentorship program, where you’re given a peer advisor, and a counselor who is more experienced. I would IM them all the time to ask any questions I had, and they were so helpful. It was really nice to be able to lean on them.” The diversity that Ernst and Young has to offer was another important aspect that attracted Shannon. “I saw diversity, people of color and women in leadership positions.” For Wes, one of the best aspects are “the relationships that are built both internally and externally. [Also,] the professional development opportunities you get are outstanding. We are a people culture; we are only as good as the people that we have and they’re only going to be good if we continue to create opportunities for everyone at all levels.”
At a firm like Ernst and Young that focuses on bringing strengths and weaknesses together through building a better working world, serving the community, and supporting every kind of employee with the resources they need to succeed, you are sure to achieve your personal and professional goals! Collegiate Women In Business is so fortunate to have had the support and mentorship of Ernst and Young over the years. If you’re interested in this firm, keep an eye out for future events we have with them or reach out to members who have worked/work there!
By: Abby Perkins