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Ernst & Young appoint Kristine Dickson as Leader of Diversity and Inclusiveness for Scotland

Ernst & Young are the first of the Big 4 firms to create a diversity role in its Scottish practice - as part of the firm’s commitment to pursue a progressive diversity agenda - following the appointment of Fleur Bothwick earlier this year as UK Diversity and Inclusiveness Director for the firm.

Hywel Ball, Ernst & Young’s Managing Partner for Scotland, commented: "Kristine will be responsible for helping the Scotland practice to realise its commitment to diversity, building on the wide range of activity that is already underway across the UK firm, to ensure that Ernst & Young is an organisation in which everyone can succeed and achieve their full potential.

“I believe in the importance of maximising talent and building an organisation where people want to and are proud to work. The skills, knowledge and values of our people are the firm’s most important assets. There is more to be done in the Scottish marketplace around diversity and inclusiveness to ensure businesses leverage all the talent pool that is available. The accountancy profession needs a diverse workforce that reflects both the diversity of clients and society. Kristine’s appointment is indicative of our ongoing commitment to diversity and will enhance the firm's growing reputation as an inclusive organisation.”

Kristine, who has been with the firm for 20 years based in its Glasgow office, is also a risk advisory services director with Ernst & Young. She said: “Clients are increasingly recognising that attracting and retaining quality staff is a key risk area. I believe organisations can help address this risk by recognising the value that a diverse team of people can bring to the table. There is a growing need to be accountable, not just by clients but by our people and new recruits. If we don’t start recognising and adapting to the changing requirements of the future talent pool, coupled with demographic and social change, we will not attract and retain the right people.

“Our strategy is to ensure that we provide services that are relevant to all clients and employ the best people from the broadest pools who understand the unique opportunities and challenges in each of these markets. Diversity and inclusiveness for us is about maximising and recognising the potential of our people and being a global firm with a global mindset. What it is not is an exercise in political correctness, a management fad or a quota system.”

Kristine, who has been part of the firm’s flexible working scheme for the past eight years, added: “We are continually looking at ways to improve our working environment and in addition to our current family friendly policies we are also piloting more flexible working hours and nine-day fortnights. One of our female partners was promoted while she was working flexibly. Ernst & Young has the highest percentage (15%) of women partners in the Big 4 (and Big 6). We are also the only Big Four firm to have two women on its leadership team. Within the UK practice our staff also speak a total of 64 languages.

“We are proud of the initiatives and programmes we already have in place, including flexible working; support networks, such as the E&Y Parents’ Network and the Disability Working Group; and Globesmart, an electronic tool to educate on cultures in other countries, which is particularly important when staff are working with overseas teams or clients. It’s now important that diversity and inclusiveness is stitched into the fabric of our firm and becomes part of our cultural norm.”
Kristine has already conducted a number of diversity and inclusiveness workshops across the Scotland practice as part of the firm’s commitment in this area and to increase the cultural intelligence of its people.

Posted by, Asif Yusuf

 

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