Ernst & Young director stresses diversity and inclusion as keys to success

Having a diverse workforce is not enough for businesses to compete in the global marketplace, said Allen A. Boston, partner and director of campus and minority recruiting for Ernst & Young.

While bringing individuals with different backgrounds into organizations is important, Boston stressed that corporations must emphasize inclusion, which means actively engaging all employees. Boston gave the keynote address at the seventh annual Fisher Diversity Awards held on May 27 at the Blackwell Inn.

Boston said corporations that can successfully link diversity and inclusion can create a productive workforce that will ultimately benefit the entire organization. For example, Ernst & Young offers a mentoring program to support employees who have not been traditionally part of the fabric of the organization, he said.

“We strive to engage in ways that employees can bring their absolute best to the forefront everyday and contribute to our organization’s success and contribute to their overall development,” said Boston, who will retire next month after 36 years with the firm.

Boston opened his speech by commending Fisher and Ohio State for its long-standing commitment to building a program that actively promotes diversity.

“Far too many universities have not really set diversity as a priority,” he said. “Quite frankly, I think they are cheating their students, the surrounding business community and they are cheating our corporations because their graduates are coming to us not having the ability to operate and lead diverse teams and operate in a diverse environment.”

The annual awards program also recognized individuals and corporations who have furthered the college’s diversity efforts.

Limited Brands received the corporate award for its promotion of diversity efforts on campus. The company was honored for its continued support of a diverse student population through the involvement of its employees with Fisher students.

“This is an incredible honor for us and I congratulate all the other nominees,” said Tom Katzenmeyer, senior vice president of investor, media and community relations. “At Limited Brands one of our four values is that inclusion makes us stronger and we really believe in that everyday and I hope our actions show that to you.”

Fisher alum Ming Shiao, now with Procter and Gamble, was honored for her contributions to diversity at Fisher with the individual diversity award.

Carlos Taylor, the president of Out in Business student organization, was presented with the Susan L. Josephs Award of Courage.