Event for mentors and mentees includes a celebrity chef, a marching band and Red Rooster Harlem.
By Eve Tahmincioglu
To be the top company in the nation when it comes to mentoring, you need more than just innovative programs and leadership commitment.
Sometimes you have to take time out to celebrate and invigorate mentors and mentees by sharing delicious food and great music, and creating opportunities for fun.
That’s just what EY — No. 3 on the DiversityInc 2016 Top 50 Companies for Diversity list and No. 1 on the Top 15 Companies for Mentoring list — did last week, with a celebration of mentoring held at the popular Red Rooster restaurant in Harlem, owned by food television star and mentoring advocate Marcus Samuelsson, who played an integral role in hosting the bash.
“The event recognized mentors, celebrated EY’s mentoring culture, and strengthened EY’s internal networks and sense of community, while giving back to the community in Harlem,” said Diana Solash, EY’s director, global and Americas diversity and inclusion.
The EY mentees on hand were from a wide range of career levels with many at the manager and senior manager levels, representing all business lines, including everything from advisory to core business services.
The mentees, many of whom were from the Tri-State New York area, said Solash, were “primarily ethnic minority mentees and part of EY’s ongoing efforts to enable the advancement of minority professionals into leadership.”
And the mentors included partners, principals, executive directors and directors, who are actively engaged in leading EY’s diversity and inclusion efforts as mentors, sponsors and professional network executive sponsors. They are all “recognized as inclusive leaders,” Solash noted.
About 45 mentors and 45 mentees attended the nearly five-hour affair, which included a procession through the streets of Harlem from chef Samuelsson’s home to his restaurant. And leading the way was a drum and dancing band called the Marching Cobras of New York.
EY accomplished its goal of celebrating mentoring and bringing mentors and mentees together, said Solash. Indeed, she added, “people stayed the very end and past the end, and were mixing and mingling.”
The event was scheduled on the heels of the Harlem EatUp! Festival (May 19-22), a festival EY sponsors and that chef Samuelsson has spearheaded as a way to bolster Harlem’s gentrification and provide funding for neighborhood development.