Talent acquisition and retention is key at EY

Ahead of our Talent Acquisition and Retention Summit Joanne Conway, Deputy Head of D&I, EY, shares why it's so important to get it right

We interviewed Joanne Conway ahead of the Talent Acquisition and Retention Summit. Her session will discuss why it is critical to balance measurement and performance management with an investment in culture change to accelerate the diversity and inclusion agenda

What are your top three ways to keep your best talent? 

  1. Create an environment where everyone belongs, where they feel valued and able to contribute 
  2. Provide transparent and engaging career paths, ensuring equitable access to opportunities
  3. Encourage flexible working, focusing on the output, not presentism – we have a real opportunity with Covid to continue to do this. I would encourage organisations to continue the flexible ways of working.

What are the best ways to create an inclusive culture?

  1. Set the tone at the top – having authentic leaders who create an environment where everyone belongs is critical
  2. Encourage and respect diverse viewpoints. That’s when creative ideas flow, igniting innovation and inspiring more effective solutions. 
  3. Create a “speak up” culture, call out behaviours that can make people feel excluded. Doing so means that everyone’s voice is heard, and they feel that their contribution matters.

What is your golden rule for all D&I leaders?

Targets are essential – what doesn’t get measured gets missed; they focus minds and hold businesses accountable.  It is important to combine metrics with a focus on culture change, addressing the deep-rooted behavioural and systemic changes in an organisation as well as measuring the outcomes. 

Totally agree, could you give us a snippet of what your session will entail?

It will explore the power of storytelling and how elevating the voices of ALL of our people can foster a stronger sense of belonging.  Through academic research and business examples, it will become evident why we believe that representation and creating a culture of belonging matters for our people, our businesses and our communities.


You can hear more from Joanne at the Talent Acquisition and Talent Retention summit on 23rd March 2021. You can view the full agenda and register your free place here.

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