Celebrating my ethnicity in the workplace

Amaka Uche, UK

Senior Associate, Core Business Services, Talent EMEIA FSO

 

I have been at EY for the last two years and have enjoyed my experiences so far. I currently work in the UK and Ireland (UKI) Student Attraction and Employer Brand team based in London. However, I have just completed a secondment into the Financial Services (FS) Learning and Development team. Before working at EY, I graduated from Kings College London with a degree in Business Management and spent my time working at a top five Russell Group university in London upon my graduation.

One of the things that drew me to EY was the fact that it is a very diverse and international organization. I had always heard about the culture and experiences from people I knew who worked at EY. The culture always appeared to be a happy one, where inclusiveness was as at the forefront and talked about a lot. When I joined EY, I found this to be true. It is something I always emphasize to potential recruits when I am running various recruitment events encouraging young people to join the network. Once I joined EY, I was amazed at the number of networks that were available to me (it almost reminded me of starting off at the university and joining as many clubs and societies in freshers’ week!). I started going to a lot of events held by different networks, such as the EY Womens’ Network, Women in Tech and the EY Christian Network. I also joined the EY Black Network (EYBN) and quickly began to find different ways to be actively involved. Currently, I have been given the role of helping to support outreach and student recruitment of young people to help inspire them to work for EY in the future.

For me, the EYBN is a great way for me to celebrate what it means to be a person of Black British-African decent in the workplace. EY really celebrates our differences and people from ethnically diverse backgrounds. The EYBN has many events, especially their flagship Black Tie ball held every October to mark the end of black history month, where we celebrate excellence in the African-Caribbean community and really put a spotlight on their talents, innovation and entrepreneurship. 

The EYBN have been up to organizing numerous events supporting: career development; outreach; managing careers series; informal meet and greets; and of course, the annual cross-network barbeque.

The general culture of EY is very open, inclusive and people-oriented. As I have had the opportunity to work in both UK and Ireland (UKI) markets as well as FS, I can say that this culture has still been prevalent in every EY office that I’ve worked in. I also feel that the culture has allowed me to be my whole self in the work place. I don’t feel that I need to pretend to be someone that I am not. I am encouraged to be the woman that I am in order to make the most of my opportunities here at EY. Having lots of different networks at EY and also being part of the EYBN has helped me to do varied activities outside of my day role, and also expand my network by working with and building good working relationships with a wide range of people. With regards to opportunities, I have been fortunate that I have had a lot of good experiences, even though I have only been with EY for two years.  Going on secondment in FS, working on different projects with lots of intelligent people in UKI and FS, and also going on a charity mountain climb with the EY Foundation in Spain have just been some of the things I have been up to in the last two years. The opportunities are there, you just have to be willing to put yourself out there and take it.

 

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