EY
Creating a legacy of belonging at EY
Diversity & Inclusion
EY Collection of Us casestudy 2 header
125%
average readership increase since January 2020
in a nutshell

With a commitment to radically accelerate progress on diversity and inclusion (D&I), EY came to us for help to find and share stories with enough heart to cut through the corporate noise. The result? A bold, ongoing storytelling series of articles, podcasts, emails – and an interactive collection of their most powerful experiences.

The brief

The firm knew that its strategy to take action to boost D&I called for its culture of belonging to be lifted to the next level. But with strong competition from a plethora of internal emails, how could these important messages cut through and resonate with time-poor, client-focused colleagues?

EY’s employees are busy. They’re intent on doing a great job – and communications about D&I don’t help them with the task in hand. So what would make them engage with yet another message in a crowded inbox?

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Our response and delivery

Enter #StrongwhenweBelong. This barrier-breaking campaign steers away from tokenism and focuses on creating representative and balanced stories, evoking emotions, recognising successes and viewing challenges through a human lens.

A bold storytelling series that gives fair space to all, it’s unafraid to share the hard truths that come with diversity and inclusion. Opening up your channels to honest opinion can be a tough ask – but EY has committed to brave authenticity. It’s the only way to convince colleagues that diverse thinking is genuinely valued at EY.

A best-in-class creative approach features authentic, human, bold and unique content that gives everyone a voice, airs challenges fairly and helps colleagues to understand their privilege and how they can be allies to underrepresented communities.

At the end of 2020, we marked a moment in this ongoing series by creating a dynamic PDF, The Collection of Us, which gathered the best stories from the year into a place to celebrate diversity.

The audio possibilities of the dynamic PDF mean you hear real colleague voices telling a key part of their story on every page. Harnessed to animated photography, bespoke illustrations and the written word, each contributor’s story lives and breathes on screen in a way that simply isn’t possible in print.

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The impact

Today, belonging is very much part of EY’s language and is embedding in the firm’s culture. When asked ‘what does community mean to you, in one word?’, at an EY Race and Ethnicity Network event, the top answer, spontaneously cited by the audience, was belonging.

EY is also seeing a regular drumbeat of belonging content, inspired by the campaign: webcasts and live discussions from managing partners to all members of the firm and pledges from its leadership.

More people are becoming actively involved. One colleague said: “The reaction I got after sharing my story was unbelievable! I had around 200 emails, mainly from people who didn’t know me but who identified with my experience. It’s spurred me on to do more: I host invisible prejudice events for resourcing and recruitment teams and our faith network. Around 90% of the people at these events say they hide an aspect of their personality at work.”

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“Probably the most powerful series we’ve published. It’s such a great example of comms that combine brevity, humanity, community and empathy-building. Giving people the space to tell their story lets them share their difference and the things we can learn from.”
Melissa Woodhead, Senior Communications & Engagement Manager | UK&I Brand, Marketing & Communications
“We’re a big accountancy firm, and we rely on measuring gaps and outcomes. But hearing it from somebody’s heart and voice through the medium of storytelling has given us a different way to look at our people’s lived experience at the firm.”
Sally Bucknell, Director, Diversity and Inclusiveness, UK&I
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