Ernst & Young LLP hosts leadership development event for underrepresented minority students and fifth annual business school roundtable

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Events are designed to encourage diversity, inclusiveness and a global mindset in future leaders

In a continued effort to attract underrepresented minority talent to professional services, Ernst & Young LLP will host its seventh annual Discover Ernst & Young event from Jan. 3-5. Over 150 high-achieving, ethnically diverse students from across 73 US campuses will convene in New York City to learn more about their leadership potential and career opportunities at Ernst & Young.

The firm will concurrently host its fifth annual Campus Diversity and Inclusiveness Roundtable, a forum that will gather over 20 faculty and administrators from 14 top undergraduate business programs across the US to discuss the business imperative for increased diversity, a culture of inclusiveness, and developing a global mindset. Mansour Javidan, Garvin Distinguished Professor and Director of Najafi Global Mindset Institute, Thunderbird School of Global Management, will be a featured speaker. He will be joined by panelists from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the University of Missouri and The College of William & Mary, along with speakers from Ernst & Young.

Both Discover Ernst & Young and the Campus Diversity and Inclusiveness Roundtable events are designed to address the underrepresentation of African Americans, Hispanics and Native Americans in professional services. Ernst & Young Global Chairman and CEO Jim Turley is scheduled to speak at both events, reinforcing the importance of diversity and inclusiveness to the future of the global organization and the profession.

According to the 2011 American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA)’s 2011 Trend Report, underrepresented minority presence at CPA firms is 3% Black/African-American, 4% Hispanic/Latino and 1% Native American. In addition, the percentage of bachelor’s and master’s graduates in accounting by ethnicity remains low with 6% Black/African-American, 5% Hispanic and 1% Native American among the 2009-2010 graduating class.

Discover Ernst & Young
The three-day, all expense-paid, Discover Ernst & Young event will invite participating college students to take part in interactive team-building exercises, leadership seminars, networking opportunities and conversations with Ernst & Young’s top leaders, including Turley. The attendees, who are primarily college sophomores and juniors, will be eligible to interview for internships with Ernst & Young LLP following the conference.

Due in part to the continued success and expansion of this program since it launched in 2007, minorities have come to represent 36% of Ernst & Young LLP’s total full-time hiring from campuses in the US. To date, the program has reached over 600 students and has expanded its scope beyond its initial foundation called Discover Tax, which focused solely on the firm’s tax practice.

“By identifying and engaging with top talent early in their campus careers, we are enriching our pipeline with diverse candidates for all of our businesses,” said Nancy Altobello, Americas Vice Chair, People, Ernst & Young. “Building diverse, high-performing teams that cultivate a culture of inclusiveness is key to delivering exceptional client service.”

Campus Diversity and Inclusiveness Roundtable
Ernst & Young LLP’s annual Campus Diversity and Inclusiveness Roundtable will convene college and business leaders to learn from distinguished speakers about diversity and inclusiveness initiatives at their respective organizations, discuss leading practices for encouraging a global mindset, and develop action plans to achieve sustainable and systemic change on campus.

“Diversity and inclusiveness are fundamental principles required for success in the global marketplace and these concepts must be a priority on college campuses to help companies build a pipeline of qualified candidates,” said Ken Bouyer, Americas Director of Inclusiveness Recruiting, Ernst & Young. “The Roundtable creates a forum where administrators of leading business programs can collectively focus on ways to embed a global mindset into existing programming and curriculums to help equip students for today’s business world.”

Past Roundtable participants have implemented ideas and best practices discussed during the events at their respective colleges and universities in an effort to instill a global mindset among their students.

One such example is a program now offered at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Jana Raedy, Associate Dean - Master of Accounting Program at the Kenan-Flagler Business School, was inspired to create a course called “Leadership: Professionalism and Team Building in Today’s Diverse Business Environment” after attending the 2011 Roundtable event. The course utilizes advanced educational tools, grounded in the latest research regarding inclusivity, leadership, professionalism and communication, to prepare students to assume positions of leadership in the professional accounting environment, both public and private. It is ultimately designed to help students understand the essential skills of professionalism and team building that are requisite in today’s diverse, global business environment, addressing topics such as emotional intelligence, personal branding and more.

At this year’s Roundtable, Raedy will share what she has learned to date as a panelist during the Leading Practices sessions.

About Ernst & Young
Ernst & Young is a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services. Worldwide, our 167,000 people are united by our shared values and an unwavering commitment to quality. We make a difference by helping our people, our clients and our wider communities achieve their potential.

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Ernst & Young refers to the global organization of member firms of Ernst & Young Global Limited, each of which is a separate legal entity. Ernst & Young Global Limited, a UK company limited by guarantee, does not provide services to clients.

This news release has been issued by Ernst & Young LLP, a member firm of Ernst & Young Global Limited.

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