Smart Futures: Gain support and guidance to be confident in the workplace

EY Foundation launches Race Commitments


This is a critical moment for society that demands bold action from all of us. The scale of the challenge to tackle racial inequality is huge but we are passionate in our determination to secure change – both for our organisation and the young people we serve. 

The primary purpose of the EY Foundation is to support young people who face barriers to succeeding in the workplace. With over 80% of the young people we work with from Black, Asian or ethnic minority communities, our team and Board need to reflect the young people we support.


In 2019, we made diversity and inclusion a strategic priority, with a focus on race. We will build on the action already taken to accelerate meaningful change. This includes moving away from placing people from different ethnic backgrounds into one category, to more effectively address the specific issues facing each group. We acknowledge that we don’t have all the answers, but we will continue to work with young people, employers and other partners to evolve our approach and contribute to building a fairer and more equal society.


Today we publish eleven commitments around race, and in the coming months and years we will publish our progress against them.


Key commitments include:


  • By 2025, we commit to take all lawful steps to achieve 50% of our team and leadership team will come from Black, Asian or ethnic minority communities. Specifically, it is our objective that 30% of our team and leadership team will come from the Black community. 
  • By 2025, we commit that 50% of our Board in key positions of influence will be from Black, Asian or ethnic minority communities. Specifically, 30% will come from the Black community. Influencing positions include: Chair, Treasurer, Chairs of sub-committees, Diversity and Inclusion Lead, Safeguarding Lead, Chair and Co-Chair of the Youth Advisory Board.
  • Starting in 2021, we will work with EY to give at least 30% of Black young people on our programmes a place with EY on work experience. For the next five years, we will work with EY in partnership to offer entry into EY school leaver pathways to at least 30% of Black young alumni of the Smart Futures and Our Future programmes.


You can view our full list of commitments here.


Hear what some members of our Youth Advisory Board think:


Regrettably in society today, individuals from various minority backgrounds are still more susceptible to mental health issues, more liable to be on the wrong end of the criminal justice system and more likely to grow up in poverty. Without action to develop inclusive cultures where people with a diverse range of identities and backgrounds feel able to perform at their best and progress in their organisation, we face an underutilisation of talent. Organisations such as the EY foundation possess the ability to implement such changes and influence wider societal changes by fostering a shared sense of belonging and a shared sense of the future.

Alongside systemic racism and unconscious bias, there is also an economic issue at the core of racial inequality - shown by the intersectionality between one's socioeconomic status and ethnic background. As per government findings, minority groups are more likely to live in deprived neighbourhoods in England, and make up a larger proportion of pupils eligible for Free School Meals in the UK. The ambitious action the EY Foundation are taking is necessary; not only to break the cycle of racial economic inequality, but also to change the outcomes of our young people’s lives.