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A Conversation with EY: Women Unlock the Full Potential of the Working World

PRSA Tampa Bay’s Diversity & Inclusion Chair, Kecia Carroll, spoke with Jen Hemmerdinger, Ernst & Young LLP (EY) US Tax Public Relations Manager, about celebrating women during Women’s History Month and every day of the year. Jennifer explains how their professionals are encouraged to take action to drive change and get to a point of parity and equity, and the role that communications plays in that process.

  1. We recently celebrated International Women’s Day (IWD). What did your company do to celebrate?

As many women have been disproportionately impacted by the global health crisis, it was more important than ever to celebrate their achievementsand also come together to raise awareness against bias, take action to support women at work and continue to strive for equity.

At EY, we believe the disruption of 2020 provides a unique opportunity to reimagine a more inclusive workplace, where women are part of every conversation, equation, solution and answer. We believe gender equity is not an aspiration, it’s fundamental to unlocking the full potential of the working world.

Our team activated a paid social media and earned media campaign around IWD. Our call to action was: make sure #SheBelongs. The team shared polls, videos, and other posts, and EY leaders published blogs to offer distinctive EY insights and to drive the conversation. 

The US team sponsored the Forbes Equal Pay Day & Equity At Work virtual event, which featured EY U.S. Chair and Managing Partner and Americas Managing Partner Kelly Grier. On March 23, Kelly and Moira Forbes co-hosted the virtual event to spotlight a powerful range of women voices at the forefront of today’s most dynamic businesses.

Our leaders encouraged our professionals to take action to drive change and get to a point of parity and equity. These actions include:

  • Sponsor and mentor women on your team to help them to succeed and to gain new opportunities; make sure you have diverse mentees as well.
  • Question everything by challenging gender stereotypes and biases, and contribute to an environment where women are heard.
  • Promote the achievements of women — both on your team and in your communities.

  1. How does the fact that you are a global company play into your celebration or communications?

Our Global PR team leads IWD and the various regions have an opportunity to leverage those messages in addition to what a local office has planned. Being a global company allows us to amplify our messages on multiple, larger platforms. For example, we had the opportunity to write a byline for Bloomberg Tax about why it’s crucial companies should continue to invest in D&I initiatives throughout the pandemic. The article included the voices from all of our Tax practices around the world, which are led by women.

We also made an impact on a grassroots level too. Our local EY offices celebrated in a variety of ways. For example, the EY Tampa office hosted an informal virtual gathering to honor IWD and celebrate all the women in the office. Throughout the month of March, the Tampa chapter of our Professional Women’s Network (PWN), one of our nine Employee Resource Groups, shared resources, thought leadership and encouraging materials.

  1. How does this celebration tie into celebrating Women’s History Month?

Each Wednesday throughout the month of March, our team spotlighted a different EY woman on our social media channels to showcase how she is building a better working world. The team also amplified EY leader blogs on social media throughout the entire month.

  1. So, what comes next?

With our ongoing Women.Fast forward and #SheBelongs efforts at EY, our firm champions parity and challenges the business community to match its words with real action on equity. We are focused on three distinct areas: women in leadership, women in technology, and women entrepreneurs.

Today, women hold more than 30 percent of our top executive positions at EY US and represented 40 percent of our 2020 class of promoted partners/principals. Women also account for half of our full-time campus hires and more than 40 percent of our experienced hires.

We have been on our diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) journey for more than 20 years. Much has changed during that time, but our commitment has remained constant. Recently we published a DEI transparency report that has not only encouraged our leaders to talk more openly about our DEI journey but also to keep EY accountable as we continue to strive for further progress.

 

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