Neurodiversity at EY: Kyle’s Story

Kyle has been an inventor since he was young, from building toys and contraptions, to programming. Now as a Senior Technology Consultant at EY he’s building things every day across automation, natural language processing and artificial intelligence.

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[Kyle] I started building my own things pretty young, toys, building contraptions, programming things.

What motivates me is working on things that I’m passionate about, and being around the people I care about.

My name is Kyle, I’m a technology consultant at EY.

I did my undergraduate degree in economics and political science at McGill. I did grad school for computer science, after that, I started my own company.

Last summer, I realized that I wanted to be like a full member of a team. So I decided to join EY.

EY is a professional services company that does consulting work, audit work, tax advisory services and strategy and transactions.

So we have a lot of specialized people that do specialized work that might not exist within the client company.

Right now, the problems that I’m solving are around data mining, natural language, A.I. and automation.

It’s reducing complex human tasks into steps that a machine can follow and execute more reliably, freeing up people on the client side to do more engaging work or less repetitive tasks.

It’s a good feeling because you know that people get to do work, that they find more stimulating and more interesting for themselves.

[Kevin Brennan, Western Canada Market Leader, BC Managing Partner, EY] People that choose EY they choose it for a reason, they choose it because they’re joining a family.

After 34 years of being here, I love the values and the culture of the firm. It’s all about bringing the best of the firm to make our clients better.

It’s about engaging in the community and how can they make a better society.

EY works with the Canucks Autism Network in a multitude of ways. We put on workshops, we talk about career opportunities. We help with skills training.

For us, the Canucks Autism Network and Ready, Willing and Able they’re able to spread the word about EY being an inclusive employer and the opportunities that exist.

[Kyle] Before starting my job hunt, I had never heard of the NCoE, Neurodiversity Centers of Excellence.

That’s the next phase of inclusion, there’s a lot of untapped talent.

[Kevin Brennan] The NCoE program for us has been an overwhelming success in Canada and globally.

We noticed that the traditional behavioral type interview process was not conducive to truly understanding the skill set of people with neurodiversity.

We focus on the competencies and technical ability. It’s about extending the interview process to ensure that we have a fit and we allow our candidates to really assess who EY is.

[Kyle] It’s heartening to know that EY understands the value of candidates who would not otherwise be considered just because they had hurdles that people with neurodiversity have.

I know as part of a kind of a broader continuum EY is invested pretty heavily in other groups that have historically been kind of marginalized or sidelined and they’re all given a seat at the table and in a really respectful way.

[Kevin Brennan] If everybody looked at the problem the same way, you’d get a one stream solution.

It’s by challenging the status quo, by thinking through problems from different perspectives, you get a better outcome.

[Kyle] I have a strong CV and I’ve worked on a lot of really interesting projects before I was with NCoE.

I don’t come off as the most typical, but most people don’t think I have autism.

And I think that if people in business contexts realized that this person who is helping you with your problem is Autistic, it might change their perspectives of what other Autistic people can bring to their business.

For Autistic people that are often feeling like they don’t really have a place, there is a desire to contribute, and so when EY makes an overt statement like, we want talented people and we want neurodiverse people. And if neurodiverse people and talented people are the same person, we want them.

It’s a really healthy mindset.

[Kevin Brennan] We celebrate diversity to be a reflection of society in every way possible.

Our diversity does in many ways provide us a competitive advantage.

[Kyle] I think the value comes from just being able to combine focus with passion, and you’re kind of propelled by your own kind of intrinsic sense of this is the most interesting thing I could be doing right now.

I have found an excellent blend of the things I want to be working on and the supports that I have sought.

I work a lot and a lot of that is out of curiosity.

I’ve worked jobs that I wasn’t passionate about, and I can tell you that I do much better work when I’m deeply engaged with the work that I’m doing.

So I think for me to do work that I’m not interested in would be a disservice to the person that I’m working with.