International professional services organisation, EY New Zealand, are leading the way in diversity and accessibility in the workplace. Learn about EY’s (win-win!) collaboration with Be. Lab’s Talent Shop here.
For EY, embracing diversity is more than simply being a good employer – it’s a vital strategic advantage. As one of the largest professional services organisations in the world, EY are proof that diverse companies are 35% more likely to outperform homogenous ones.*
Central to EY’s focus on diversity is creating working environments that are accessible for all. A 2018 study revealed that:
“The most inclusive working environments for disabled employees achieved an average of 28% higher revenues, 30% greater economic profit margins, and twice the net income of their industry peers between 2015 and 2018.” **
Since 2018, EY has collaborated with Be. Lab’s Talent Shop; our one of a kind employment and internship programme that connects talented access citizens with outstanding employment opportunities. This massive pool of talented access citizens is largely untapped, despite them having the strengths and skills many organisations need.
Through the programme, four interns have been placed at EY and they all gained graduate positions after their internship: “The fact that all Be. Lab interns have gone on to secure permanent employment at EY highlights the quality of the candidates,” says Hannah Booth, Campus Recruitment Senior Consultant at EY.
“The only thing we need to consider when employing access citizens is if we need to make any adjustments from our side, rather than the other way around.”
In addition to technical skills, EY looks for employees who offer innovation, problem solving and resilience. According to Hannah, it’s these qualities that make Be. Lab interns really stand out:
“The students we have worked with through Be. Lab all have great skills in addition to their technical skills.”
Paul Scantlebury, EY’s Recruitment Strategy Implementation Leader for Asia-Pacific, believes access citizens are highly innovative because they view the world through a different lens:
“When faced with the need to find solutions to problems where society isn’t accessible, people with access needs often spend a lifetime thinking laterally and exploring different angles to problems.”
Proud to be one of the first companies to sign up to the Valuable 500, the global movement putting disability on the business leadership agenda, EY teams are leading the way in embracing diversity and accessibility in the workplace. But many organisations in New Zealand are yet to catch on.
In a recent Be. Lab survey of access citizens in Aotearoa, the lowest rated area of public life was employment opportunities – with only 13% of access citizens giving it a positive accessibility rating. So, what’s holding some employers back?
“If employing access citizens is not something you have done before, it can be a big scary grey area,” says Hannah. “But it’s much easier than you think, especially with the support of Be. Lab’s Talent Shop.”
Be. Lab’s unique service offers tailored wrap-around support to both the employer and new employee. The employer is offered advice on what additional support or set up (if any) their new access employee may need. And the access employee is provided with professional development, including a mentor, to ensure they are workplace ready.
It’s a win-win partnership: the organisation gains highly skilled and talented access employees and all the associated benefits of diversity in the workplace, and access citizens are offered opportunities for meaningful employment and a future full of possibility.
According to Hannah, this is a key opportunity for employers and central to EY’s success:
“Working collaboratively with Be. Lab’s Talent Shop gives us the ability to learn from different perspectives which is fundamental to driving innovation, building strong relationships and providing the best approaches for EY clients, EY people and the communities we work in.”
Be. Lab's Talent Shop supports leading employers across New Zealand to find and hire diverse, talented staff and ensure that their workplaces are as accessible as possible to all people.