New this year: The Buffalo Niagara Partnership is pleased to introduce you to the finalists for the 2021 ATHENA Organizational Award®, which will recognize two organizations that support, develop, and honor women leaders, inspiring women to achieve their full potential and creating balance in leadership throughout Buffalo Niagara.
The award will be presented to one for-profit organization and one non-profit organization. Nominations were reviewed for the organization’s culture, community engagement, and leadership in supporting women.
If you’d like to attend the 30th annual ATHENA Awards®, the region’s most prestigious event dedicated to the professional accomplishments of those who work to advance women, you can get tickets here.
Meet This Week’s ATHENA Organizational Award® Finalist
Ernst & Young
With offices in downtown Buffalo, Ernst & Young LLP (EY) is a member firm of Ernst & Young Global Limited, a multinational professional services network with global headquarters in London, England. EY is one of the largest professional services networks in the world and is ranked as one of the Big Four accounting firms.
EY is committed to gender parity in the workplace and supporting women to achieve their full leadership potential. The firm continuously works to bridge the gender gap, defeat unconscious biases and engage men as allies in driving change. Their approach is holistic, and their women-centered initiatives create opportunities for professionals in all stages of their lives and careers, and at all levels, roles and geographies in the organization.
In 2019, a focus on gender equity earned EY a spot in the top 10 among the National Association for Female Executives (NAFE) Top 50 Companies for Executive Women as well as on Working Mother’s annual 100 Best Companies list.
EY supports initiatives across all its local offices that create an environment where women can learn, connect and grow. One such program is the firm–wide Professional Women’s Network (PWN). EY has about 50 chapters throughout the United States and Canada, and each chapter hosts learning events, seminars, networking dinners and community involvement activities.
EY’s external commitment to gender parity is as strong as the firm’s internal commitment. EY’s Upstate NY community has sponsored several International Women’s Day “Woman in Business” conferences in Buffalo and Rochester.
In Buffalo, EY leaders have a track record of participating on the boards of nonprofits. For example, Lisa Matthews is on the board of She Can, a nonprofit that promotes women in leadership, as well as Junior Achievement, which supports more than 16,000 girls across Western New York. As another example, Lois Arcara, a Managing Director in Buffalo, was formerly on the Board of Girls Education Collaborative, a Buffalo-based organization with a global mission to provide safe, quality education for girls around the world which our Buffalo office continues to support.
The Buffalo team also organizes local community engagement initiatives that directly benefit the communities the firm serves. For example:
- This year for International Women’s Day, the Buffalo PWN group is fundraising for the local chapter of Dress for Success, a nonprofit that helps provide low-income women with resources to grow their careers.
- The Buffalo team is also very involved with 43 North, an incubator in Buffalo that attracts and supports early-stage companies, which has an outstanding track record of supporting women entrepreneurs.
- EY is taking actions as a US firm to eradicate racism and discrimination against the Black community by leveraging its influence to drive strategic change in the firm, in the community and through public policy. EY is contributing $4 million to historically black colleges and universities, and donating funds to organizations committed to fighting social injustices.
EY strives to build leadership teams that are diverse in all aspects and has fostered increases in diverse professionals in executive and senior leadership positions over the last couple of decades. In the firm’s Upstate practice – including Buffalo and Rochester – several women in the last few years have become partner, the highest rank in the office.
Across the firm in the US, EY has seen a threefold growth over the past 20 years in the representation of diverse professionals at the partner and principal ranks.
The Buffalo Niagara Partnership is pleased to welcome Ernst & Young LLP as a finalist for this year’s ATHENA Organizational Award in the for-profit category.
Attend the ATHENA Awards® Luncheon
The ATHENA Awards® Luncheon is the region’s most prestigious event recognizing the professional accomplishments of exceptional individuals who are dedicated to the advancement of women. Be there when the winners are announced.