Nick Stewart

‘117 years to equality? That’s a pretty depressing statistic really.’

Nick Stewart

Job title: Executive Director, FAAS UK, Financial Services (London)

Time at EY: Nearly 2 years

I started in professional services as an auditor, then as an advisor, and I returned to EY in June 2014 after spending eight years working for global investment banks in front office, financial and treasury areas. As a father to two young daughters, I believe that it’s important to ensure that men and women are treated equally – which is why I’m committed to promoting equality at EY.

Nick on… what equality means to him

“I think about it in terms of opportunities, promotions and progression. So people would have equally balanced opportunities to get the same promotion, irrespective of their gender.”

Nick on… whether there is equality in the workplace

“We’re not 50/50 but we’re not far off it. The person who created our team was a strong-willed lady with a diverse ethnic background so our team has been developed with a very open mindset. I don’t feel there’s that much inequality in our team, but there’s still work to do across the organisation.”

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

“That’s a pretty depressing stat. I have two daughters, and one wants to be an architect. The thought of her going through university and still being in a situation or an environment where she isn’t treated the same as men seems pretty horrendous to think about.”

Nick on… whether inequality is more noticeable as he gets older

“As you become more senior, you start going to meetings and leadership forums where the split is much more unequal, with more men than women. That said, there are a lot of very strong positive female role models in EY – I mean, I was hired by a woman, and the head of my service line is a woman.”

Nick on… how EY compares to the wider world in terms of equality

“There are great female role models in our organisation and I guess it makes us a bit more unaware of what’s happening outside EY. You assume everything that happens in EY is reflective of the wider world, of what our clients are doing. Then you go to a few banks and realise that it’s not the case.”

Nick on… why equality in the workplace is important

“For me, equality is about having a balanced view on things and a balanced view on work. These days, you get a lot more men looking after the kids, so there’s more equality, more women in the workplace, but I think you get more balanced men too – because they feel and have the same mindset as women.”

Nick on… the difference between men and women

“When a woman expresses a problem or an issue, the man tries to find a solution. Women generally try to empathise and then create an environment where you can move forward. When I’m in that situation, I always try to tell myself that I don’t need to provide the solution, just listen more. Men try to get stuff done whereas women get it done in the right way.”

Nick on… who should be fixing inequality

“I think it’s all of us. I think one of the things we do quite well at EY is to sort it out within the organisation – we create the right kind of culture and then we take it out to other organisations and be a role model. I think that’s the best way. You can only influence people; you can’t force them.”

Nick was interviewed alongside Emma Mitchell for our Creating Equality Together video.

Creating Equality Together

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