Lucy Bourne

‘It was only when I came to work that I realised it could be an issue to be a woman.’

Lucy Bourne

Job title: Senior Consultant, People Advisory Services (London)

Time at EY: 4 years

I joined EY after studying philosophy, politics and economics at the University of Manchester. During my studies, I was especially passionate about the topic of equality of opportunity and I believe talent and hard work are the factors that should determine where you end up in life, not your gender.

Lucy on... defining ‘equality in the workplace’

“To me, it means that my gender is irrelevant. Right now there are fewer women in senior positions, because there’s a smaller talent pool to take from so equality isn’t necessarily an achievable aim. But with girls outperforming boys at university, there’s no justification for not having 50/50 men and women at junior levels.”

Lucy on... equality in ‘real life’ versus equality in the workplace

“Interestingly, it was only when I came to work that I realised it could be an issue to be a woman. Before that I just went to school, then university, and nothing was any different - apart from at my school you couldn’t play rugby as a girl. I was really annoyed about that.”

Lucy on... how having children might change her view on equality

“I think if you bring people up thinking their gender is irrelevant then that attitude will help. Hopefully we can shift things in the meantime.”

Lucy on... a study predicting it will be 117 years until gender equality is achieved

“It seems like a long time but if you look back three generations, when I used to speak to my grandma about the role of a woman when she grew up, there’s been a massive shift. Yes, we’d all love to have complete equality now but if you look at where we’ve come from, actually we’ve made huge progress.”

Lucy on... attitudes of 20-somethings to gender equality

“I’d be surprised if someone who’s grown up in my generation would say, “it’s a woman’s role to stay at home”, given the context we grew up in.”

Lucy on... if being a woman is an advantage at work

“At the moment I would say it is. There are programmes to develop female talent and networks focused around women to give them support with their careers, such as talks on presenting, charisma, how to dress, and all those sorts of things. They’re just as valuable to a man, but I get access to them. Actually, on that, I think I'm favoured.”

Lucy was interviewed alongside Saran Bhatia for our Creating Equality Together video.

Creating Equality Together

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