Ernst & Young develops business-led diversity initiative

Ernst & Young has announced the launch of a National Equality Standard (NES) to tackle inequality and promote inclusion, receiving backing from top UK businesses.

The NES has been supported by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) and the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), and early members of the NES board include Nestle, Vodafone, Pearson, Sainsbury’s, RBS and Microsoft UK.

To be awarded the NES, companies will undertake an assessment against a set of seven criteria, which will be reviewed by trained NES assessors.

Harry Gaskell, Managing Partner of Ernst & Young’s UK & Ireland Advisory practice and Head of Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) says: “D&I is probably the biggest strategic challenge for business in the next 10 years. As global business challenges become more complex, solving them requires calling on the widest spectrum of views and opinion to offer diversity of thought and perspective.

“The NES will help businesses face up to that challenge. It is a robust diversity standard that provides businesses with a range of indicators to help them drive sustainable change and demonstrate exceptional practice.

“For Ernst & Young, the NES is the logical next step in our ambition to be leaders in D&I. We believe that as the world becomes more complex, no individual can know all the answers, so building diverse teams becomes more important and helps us win in an increasingly globalised market. Beyond that we want to reinforce our commitment to help our clients create sustainable, high performing environments for their people.”

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