I’m the Asia-Pacific Advisory Learning and Development Leader at EY, and also Chair of our LGBTI inclusion committee, UNITY. I consider myself very fortunate to have a balance of roles and activities that fulfil my professional development and contribution to things that I value in life. I don’t think I started the role 10 years ago with that in mind – I was too busy figuring EY out! Coming from outside the professional services industry I feel like much of my first year was spent getting used to the acronyms and the workings of a multi-layer organization.
My working days differ each week, so I do take full advantage of the flexibility EY allows me. It’s something I have to manage from both sides, what works best for me and my lifestyle, and what works best to be successful in my role and with my clients. Always a bit of give and take, like any relationship.
My Mondays are quite straightforward, as being based in Sydney in a global role the rest of the world is still at the end of their weekend, so I can set up my week and get ahead of the game. I catch the 7.30am train from the beautiful and chilled South Coast of Sydney, into the busy and exciting world of the Sydney CBD. My clients are the Advisory business leaders across APAC, so I’m either working face to face with the Sydney teams or on the phone to my APAC clients and colleagues. Being part of the office culture is really important to me, I find out so much more over a coffee and with a 5-minute check-in as you wait for the elevators, and I’m always energised by the people around me.
I’ll then have 2 days working from my office back home on the South Coast, as my global team calls tend to be late in the evening, so I balance a working day from a late start to a late finish but with time out to enjoy the fresh air and exercise in between. By Thursday I’m ready to head back to the office to get a boost of CBD life to meet my clients and team face to face. It’s a good balance for me and I didn’t imagine that this would be my life when I joined 10 years ago, but I’m enjoying the diversity of each day. Fridays are either in the office or at home depending on each week’s work demands and it’s on this day I get to plan for the week ahead.
As a volunteer role at work, I have the fantastic opportunity to be the Chair of our LGBTI team, UNITY. In between the consulting and learning priorities and design, I enjoy working on something that also supports my passion for inclusion. Most recently we’ve been working a range of projects – everything from preparing our EY response and approach to issues such as the recent Marriage Equality campaign and support of LGBTI youth, to preparing dance routines and costumes for the Mardi Gras parade. Believe me, getting 50 Management Consultants, Auditors and Accountants to march, spin and clap at the same time can be quite a challenge, but great fun on the day! It all adds quite a ‘sparkle’ to a week of internal consulting and also fulfils my need to do something for the wider community.
Working in a large global corporation can be demanding and complex, however, it’s the people that I work with that make the difference. They continue to motivate, inspire and support me to achieve my passion for learning and inclusion.
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Find out more about EY’s approach to flexibility
By challenging our assumptions about where, when and how work gets done, we allow our people to have greater control over their work-life balance. We want to ensure our people feel fulfilled resulting in high performing individuals, teams and better results for our clients.
Substituted Public holidays
People who celebrate different days of cultural significance are able to swap a legislated public holiday for one that has more meaning to them. An example would be substituting the Queen’s birthday for Lunar New Year.
We offer agile and flexible working environments, with both formal (reduced hours) and informal (varied start and finishing times, working from home) arrangements available. We take a team-based approach to flexibility and encourage collaboration to agree the top outcomes for our leaders, people and our clients. We offer a number of tools and support mechanisms, including a job-redesign toolkit for our people entering into a reduced hours arrangement.
We don’t want anyone to miss out on the early years which is why EY offers short and long paid leave when a new baby arrives. At EY we encourage parents to share the responsibilities through our flexible parental leave. We have also collaborated with an external provider to offer a digital platform that will equip our people with the tools needed to assist in the transition to parenthood.
Support for family and domestic violence
To help keep our people safe and to minimise the negative impacts of domestic violence, the Domestic Violence Policy provides 10 days of additional paid leave a year to our Partners, contractors and professionals who may be impacted.
This is an important part of our commitment to a diverse and flexible workplace. At EY you have the opportunity to access an additional six weeks of leave per year, to provide you with more time for study, family or other personal pursuits to facilitate a flexible and healthy EY culture. (eg. vacations, carer responsibilities, illnesses, transitioning surgery).