Building a more inclusive and accessible world with EY Canada
EY Canada is imagining a future where everyone belongs — and they’re proudly supporting Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital and children with disabilities by taking part in the Imagine Everybody campaign.
Co-founded by Arthur Young, who was deaf and had low vision, EY is committed to building a barrier-free, equitable and accessible world. As a longtime supporter of Holland Bloorview, EY Canada was an early signatory for Dear Everybody, the hospital’s national movement to end stigma and eliminate bias against people with disabilities. And in 2019, they became one of the first companies to join the Valuable 500, a global campaign where 500 of the world’s most influential companies work to accelerate disability inclusion.
We spoke with Alycia Calvert, EY Canada chief operating officer and board director, as well as a business and audit committee member for Holland Bloorview and Tracy Brennan, managing partner, Central Canada Assurance Services and executive sponsor of the EY Canadian Access Abilities Network. Alycia and Tracy share what it means for EY Canada to take part in Imagine Everybody, and why the firm is proud to support Holland Bloorview.
Why is Holland Bloorview important to EY Canada, and why did the firm get involved?
Alycia: There are over one billion people with disabilities globally. This is important to EY Canada because we really do believe in creating an inclusive environment where everybody feels a sense of belonging. We truly believe that people should feel free to be their authentic selves, bringing their best to everything they do, while having the opportunities to contribute really fresh perspectives and creativity. And that sense of authenticity is what resonated with me the first day I was introduced to Holland Bloorview— simply seeing the children, their families and the volunteers come together to work towards a common goal, really resonated with me. Celebrating one’s authentic self is a concept that Holland Bloorview values and EY Canada does as well.
Imagine Everybody is all about imagining a more inclusive world for kids and youth with disabilities. How is EY Canada advancing disability inclusion?
Tracy: At EY Canada, we understand that the workplace isn’t a one size fits all model. Supporting an inclusive and diverse workforce starts with adapting to a way of working that is equitable for everyone. We’re constantly working to create flexible workplaces where everyone has the chance to grow.
On a personal note, I was born with spina bifida. As a person who grew up with a disability, I can’t tell you how excited I am by the Imagine Everybody campaign. Holland Bloorview’s messaging around ensuring everyone has the same opportunities to participate in every aspect of life to the best of their personal ability, strongly resonates with me.
Why is Imagine Everybody so important to EY Canada?
Alycia: The campaign aligns to our purpose to build a better working world. We’re constantly assessing how we can continue to embed a sense of inclusion in all of our messaging and processes from recruitment and training, all the way to promotion and progression. And when you’re thinking about trying to embed that sense of belonging in everything we do, getting involved with Holland Bloorview reinforces that message that we are an organization where everybody belongs and it’s not something that we can take for granted. We have to work at it at all times.
What excites you the most about this campaign?
Tracy: Inclusion is really a core part of who we are as a firm, which is why we’re so excited to be part of this campaign. We all play a role in fostering a culture where everyone feels like they are included. It allows everyone to bring their very best to work, reach their fullest potential and enjoy a rewarding career that’s fully aligned with their purpose. I think I’m really living proof of that, frankly. I’ve been with EY Canada for 30 years. The fact that I walk differently has never been an issue in my progression within the firm. Together with Holland Bloorview, we’re building that inclusive world.
Holland Bloorview is immensely grateful for all that EY Canada does to build a more inclusive world for children and youth with disabilities.
Thanks to EY Canada, your donation will be matched.*
Your gift today will have twice the impact!
* Up to $25,000 from August 30, 2022, to October 31, 2022