Trent Henry

Trent Henry
Chairman & CEO, Ernst & Young LLP Canada

Headquarters: Toronto, Ontario
Primary Business: Assurance, tax, transactions and advisory services
Revenues: $901 million
Employees: 4,100

Canadian First: Defining Diversity as a Core Value

In the global economy, growth, innovation, and talent can come from anywhere. I am proud to have been part of every stage of Ernst & Young’s ongoing journey to create a culture that is, and feels, inclusive, building on the unique attributes of each person. I remember clearly “the early days” when we formally embedded our “People First” approach into our values. As I lead industry discussions on diversity and talent management, I have pursued a style of personal leadership that reflects my belief that organizations thrive best when they activate the full range of perspectives and strengths of their people. At EY, this approach enriches our competitive advantage and leads to bold ideas to help clients—making the most of Canada’s multicultural population and interdependence on global markets.

Given today’s shifting economic conditions, I have never been more certain we are on the right path. Shortly after I became CEO, I created the company’s first-ever role of chief inclusiveness officer, who sits on our executive committee, and established the Inclusiveness Steering Committee, responsible for identifying ways to seed principles of diversity, inclusion, and human equity into core processes including recruitment, succession planning, client service, and market growth. Along with relevant thought leadership on diversity subjects and ongoing industry activities in this field, chairing this committee is a demonstration to the whole organization that I not only endorse a vigorous diversity, inclusiveness, and human equity strategy, but that I believe it is business-critical to make it real.

I am proud of EY’s many important successes and of our unique workplace culture that has been recognized as one of Canada’s best diversity employers and one of the world’s best multinational workplaces. But our journey continues to evolve and I’m mindful of ‘diversity fatigue’ that can stall the best intentions. So I have recently announced a bold goal for Ernst & Young: to become Canada’s first organization to internalize inclusion as a core value and view human equity as a sustainable competitive advantage (achieve a “four” on the Human Equity Continuum). Our people know that they have my ear on this topic, and I am honored to work with them every day in shaping the next chapter of Ernst & Young’s journey.

Education: BBA, University of Prince Edward Island; FCPA, FCA designations
First Job: Staff Accountant at Ernst & Young
What I’m Reading: The Partnership: The Making of Goldman Sachs, by Michael Lewis
My Philosophy: Always push the boundaries and seek out opportunities to learn and experience new things.
Best Advice: Strive to be interested—not just interesting; that means really listening to others, which will not only help expand your network, but also your mind.
Interests: Spending time with family and friends, coaching hockey, and giving back to the community through nonprofit board appointments