Amanda Gethin

"117 years to equality – it is frightening."

Amanda Gethin 

Job title: EMEIA FSO Talent Leader (London) 

Time at EY: 19 years

I have enjoyed a range of different roles and experiences at EY. I have had a varied, interesting career, and have succeeded – despite having only worked just over two years of my 19 years at EY on a full-time basis! For me, EY has been the land of opportunities, and it should be that way for anyone and everyone who is motivated to succeed. All of us should be enabled to maximise our potential, and driving gender equality is one way in which we can make that possible.

Amanda on… whether there is equality in her workplace

“It aspires to be fair and equitable for men and women. The reality is very different, for a whole heap of reasons. The sense is that it should be equal, that everybody, no matter what community they’re from, should be able to maximise their potential, but it won’t be everybody’s experience of EY, for sure.”

Amanda on… experiencing inequality

“I don’t define myself by my gender, but I’m not naïve enough to think that there wouldn’t be some people who think, ‘Well, she’s a girl. She’ll probably want babies and that’s the end of her career.’ I exaggerate for effect, but yes, I think there will have been times where, even unknowingly, someone will have made a judgment based on the fact that I’m female.”

Amanda on… whether her feelings about equality change as she gets older

“As you go up the food chain, you see fewer women. I think as I’ve grown in experience I’ve seen more discrimination, simply because I’m more aware of it. It’s much more subtle, but it is there.”

Amanda on… what EY is doing to address inequality

“I think one of the things we’ve done spectacularly well is to look at inclusive leadership. So you develop leaders that look to include every style, and can translate all sorts of different definitions of success. That’s the way to go, more than concentrating totally on the gender piece.”

Amanda on… equality in parental leave

“It would be fantastic if paternity leave was the same as maternity leave in terms of the amount of time, because then you’d shift the perspective that having children is an exclusively female issue.”

Amanda on… a study predicting it will be 117 years until gender equality is achieved

“We’re not as sophisticated as we like to think we are. We talk about the evolution of women’s rights as something that happened years ago for us, but actually it isn’t that long ago. So yes, 117 years to equality – it is frightening.”

Amanda on… flexible working at EY

“I am a role model of how it can work. I’ve been with the firm 19 years, but in that time I’ve only done two years full-time. It’s because I’ve had all sorts of different working arrangements that have suited my family, and progressed my career at the same time. EY has been fantastic to me.”

Amanda on… supporting equality in the workplace

“I do think we’re unique in the sense that, unlike most organisations, the career ladder starts with 50/50 here. But as women progress, we need to watch the key points at which we lose them, and make sure that we’re supporting them in whatever way, shape or form they require at that point.”

Amanda on… what workplace discrimination looks like

“It’s when decisions are made or assumptions are made about people because of their gender. So, ‘We won’t promote her because she’s going to have a baby soon. She’s female’.”

Amanda on… the difference between men and women

“Women don’t express ambition in the same way. They’re much more reticent to do so. They’re much more, almost disarmingly, honest about their development or their weaknesses. So I think we miss out on talent and we miss out on making our leaders or our client teams as diverse as we could.”

Amanda was interviewed alongside Rahul Rajagopal  for our Creating Better Together video.

Creating Equality Together

Find out more of what we're doing to create equality