EY: Partnering with Be. Lab's mentoring programme to promote inclusivity in the workplace

Mentoring is critical to the wrap around support Be. Lab provides our talented job seekers. Find out how mentoring benefits all involved, and why EY have embraced mentoring as part of their focus on diversity and inclusion.

Green background with the words Be. Lab Talent Story Series- Employer Story. The logo for EY is on a white background along with the words Building a Better Working World.

Many of us can remember people who have provided support and encouragement. Several steps ahead in life and career, they have played a significant role in our success and well-being.

Connecting candidates with a mentor is central to the success of Be. Lab’s employment and internship programmes. Created for those with access needs or long-term health conditions, it’s the unique one-on-one support that truly sets our programmes apart.

“Our job seekers are highly skilled and talented, but many lack confidence and simply need someone to believe in them”, says Sarah Mitchell, Relationship Manager at Be. Lab. “Some candidates have been out of work, and for those seeking internships, it is often their first experience of full-time employment. That’s why a mentor is so valuable”.


Words that stick

Emily McFarlane was a former Assistant Manager at EY and mentors Phoebe, a Be. Lab intern at the Ministry of Social Development. “People are capable of much more than they think”, says Emily.

“What you say may be the words that stick with your mentee for a long time, and they may reflect on your words of encouragement in challenging times”.

During the first few days of her 12-week internship, Phoebe was concerned about what was expected of her. But Emily’s valuable advice helped put her mind at rest. “Emily helped me to manage my expectations and to understand that my role as an intern is to learn”, she explains.  

Phoebe also credits Emily to providing advice on networking and positive steps she could take to transition into a permanent role. Emily’s guidance has clearly paid off - Phoebe was recently offered a full-time position at MSD.

Another EY person and Be. Lab mentor, Hannah Booth, was initially hesitant about becoming a mentor as she felt she lacked experience. But she soon learned she had a lot to offer. “Being a mentor allows you to tap into insight that you may not even be aware you have”, says Hannah. “Your perspective on the world is unique to you, and being a mentor gives you the opportunity to help someone see a situation in a new light”.


Learning from differences leads to growth

Emily and Hannah aren’t the only mentors from EY, in fact, there are 37 EY people who mentor Be. Lab interns. EY have partnered with Be. Lab for the last few years, both through placing interns and providing mentors. It’s a collaborative effort. The Be. Lab team run information sessions for those interested in mentoring, and EY promote mentoring through their Ability Network, a committee created to promote inclusivity in the workplace.

Global leaders in diversity and inclusion, mentoring is a perfect fit with EY’s unique culture. “The environment at EY is both diverse and inclusive, built around theidea of recognizing and celebrating all differences”, says Hannah.

“Be. Lab’s mentoring programme is not only an opportunity for our people to give back, but an opportunity to connect with and learn from people who are different to them, leading to personal and professional growth”.

Since becoming a Be. Lab mentor, Emily has learned how to listen to others in order to understand their perspective. “Professionally this has allowed me to deal with work problems better by attempting to understand everyone’s points of view before making a decision”.


Creating connection in the COVID era

For Hannah, mentoring is not only about sharing and learning from different perspectives, but it has taught her the value of connection and finding common ground.  “My mentee was in a completely different age and stage to me and we still managed to find common ground that enabled us to form a good connection”, she says. “This helped me see the value of connection – and keep our team connected during the COVID-19 lockdowns!”.

Many of us can relate to the importance of connection during the COVID era. What better time to reach out and assist in another person's growth? And in turn, you will grow too. Says Emily: “It truly is an empowering thing to put your own issues and grievances aside for an hour and help someone out”.

Sarah from Be. Lab sums it up:

“Mentoring is about being in someone else’s corner when they need it most. Your words may be the words that keep them going, encouraging and motivating them to be all that they can be. And as a result, you will become all that you can be”.


Talent Shop Mentors are a critical part of the wrap around support which Be. Lab provides to all of our job seekers to ensure our candidates continue to thrive in the workplace. We are always on the lookout for passionate, dedicated people who want to enjoy the many benefits that mentoring can offer to both mentor and mentee.

To find out more visit or mentoring webpage here or contact our friendly Talent Team today at talent@belab.co.nz








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