Ernst & Young Launches Program to Support Employees with Cognitive Differences

Just in time for April’s Autism Awareness Month, NEC member Ernst & Young’s Boston office recently launched a program to employ and support qualified candidates whose cognitive differences, such as autism or ADHD, would typically hinder their job search process in traditional interview and networking situations. The Big Four accounting firm’s Neuro-Diverse Centers of Excellence, (NCoE),concept was first introduced five years ago and is now being implemented in the 2,300-person Boston office under the oversight of Jane Steinmetz, Boston Office Managing Principal.

While NCoE employees comprise their own team and share a manager, they will also be integrated with other company members to work on specific projects. Hiren Shukla, who oversees the NCoE program, said that EY focuses on the individual talent and sees “neuro-diversity as a strength” rather than a stigma. So far, six centers have been established in the United States, with another in Canada and two more in India. Over 150 people have been hired through the program, and work in a variety of fields including process automation, cyber risk identification, and analytics. EY also partakes in round-table discussions with Microsoft, SAP and JPMorgan Chase who also have their own neuro-diverse work programs.

“The Boston NCoE will not only transform the way we help our clients across New England, but it underscores our deep commitment to diversity, inclusiveness and opportunity for all. These team members bring unique skills to the firm and will be able to support clients through innovative work and thinking,” said Steinmetz.  “We’re always looking to build a better working world and create inclusive employment opportunities that benefit EY, the businesses we serve and most importantly those we hire. The Neuro-Diverse Centers of Excellence have re-imagined the traditional hiring processes and created environments more conducive to the needs of a neuro-divergent individual that unlock tremendous talent potential.”

The New England Council commends Ernst & Young for this innovative initiative and the company’s continuous efforts to promote inclusion within the corporate workplace. Read more from EY’s press release and The Boston Globe.

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