Monday 22 July 2019 12:45 am

Big four firm EY boosts diversity with new partner intake

EY today announced that 57 people are to become equity partners at the professional services firm in the UK, of whom 34 per cent are women and 22 per cent are from black and minority ethnic (BME) backgrounds.

Read more: EY continues expansion into law

Earlier this year EY’s UK business set itself the target of ensuring 40 per cent of its over 700 equity partners were women and 20 per cent were BME by 2025. When the commitment was made just 20 per cent were women and 10 per cent BME.

The firm’s 2019 intake was more diverse than in 2018, when 19 per cent were women and 17 per cent BME out of the 71 people who became equity partners.

EY will need to significantly increase the rate it hires both groups to hit the targets it has set itself, however.

The company reported a gender pay gap – the percentage difference between average hourly earnings for men and women – of 18.9 per cent in 2019. Its report included employees and partners.

Increasing the number of female equity partners would help close the gap. Equity partners took home an average of £693,000 in the 2018 financial year.

EY has made strong progress at board level. With the appointment of Justine Belton in June, six out of ten of the firm’s UK LLP board members are women.

Justine Campbell, EY UK and Ireland managing partner for talent, said: “Congratulations and welcome to this year’s new cohort of partners. As we look to the future, we must continue to make strides in improving the diversity of our new partner admissions.”

Read more: Big Four could force judicial review into competition

“By making sure we execute consistently on our diversity and inclusiveness strategy, as we would any commercial priority, we will accelerate progress.”