How Bright Network increased EY’s diversity among students and graduates

Aug 30, 2022 | Case studies, Diversity

ISE Award winner Bright Network explains how they helped EY increase diversity amongst students and graduates, whilst providing a fast-track service for hard-to-reach talent and educating the market on less understood roles.

Using Bright Network’s data-led and hyper-target approach, EY engaged in meaningful dialogue with candidates that were relevant and excited about a role at EY or within the technology sector – even if they were unaware of it.

With early talent’s obvious affinity for technology and comfort within the digital landscape, employers must provide students with the best quality experiences. In return, members have invaluable insight and innovation for leading organisations.


Having worked closely with EY since 2014, Bright Network acutely understands EY’s mission and has supported their diverse and underrepresented candidates before and during EY’s student recruitment process.

EY’s key objectives have always been clear:

  • To be positioned as a leading employer.
  • To increase diversity amongst interns and graduates.
  • To drive high quality applications to EY through a fast-track opportunity.

The fast-track opportunity was an initiative that supported EY in hiring traditionally difficult to fill graduate vacancies in three streams across a six-week period. The campaign focused on black minority ethnic (BME) and female applications to support EY’s commitment to diversity.

The campaign process focused on three areas:

  • Target marketing and attraction email campaigns to female and BME members interested in assurance, technology and tax.
  • Fast-track screen process where candidates completed an application and interview before joining EY’s process.
  • Coaching throughout the process to ensure candidates could put their best foot forward.

The results of the process found 800 applications entered the fast-tack process, with 57% female, and 19 successful offers made across all three streams.

Bright Network’s work with EY is continuous, with multi-year plans in place to change the industry’s landscape. Diversity has no end goal and both Bright Network and EY are passionate about continuing to provide innovative solutions that serve Bright Network’s growing member community.

Wider support

Working with EY, Bright Network became an extension of the team and ensured everyone involved was fully inducted and onboarded in the values and expectations of EY and the project in hand.

With an agile and collaborative approach coupled with robust reporting and use of project management tools, every member of the team of the Bright Network team remained focused on their goals, campaigns, and tasks.

Bright Network believes in transparency, openness, and collaboration. Each team conducted weekly calls to ensure all members were up to date on the project’s direction and required actions.

Bright Network also conducted monthly calls with higher-level stakeholders to feed market insights and inform longer term strategic planning. The full project team at EY were copied into all relevant correspondence.


Bright Network evaluated the results from both the standard EY applications and the EY Employer programme applications – there is a rise in both application numbers and the diversity of candidates who applied:

Across the partnership to date:

10,723 total applications where Bright Network is stated on the application

1,396 total Empower applications, which included:

  • 63% female
  • 77% BME
  • 19% black heritage
  • 26% regional applications 

451 total offers where Bright Network are stated on application

69 total Empower offers which included:

  • 71% female
  • 65% BME
  • 12% black heritage
  • 30% regional offers

This work has significantly changed the diversity makeup of EY’s early talent cohorts, as Bright Network has become positioned as their dedicated partner in this space. This is a huge responsibility to support the company, but also the wider industry and student perception of professional services

EY in partnership with Bright Network won the Outstanding Employer and Supplier Recruitment Partnership at the ISE Awards 2022.

Read more case studies from ISE Award winners.



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