Ernst & Young now admits it should not have offered a women’s leadership training last year that was full of outdated and demeaning advice for women.
The same day that HuffPost reported on the contents of the seminar, called Power-Presence-Purpose, the giant accounting firm distanced itself further from the program, which it had initially said was valued by some of its female executives.
“There is no question that elements of the program included offensive content that is inconsistent with our core beliefs,” EY said in a statement it first provided to The Hill late on Monday, hours after HuffPost’s story had sparked widespread criticism.
At the training in June 2018, women were told their brains were smaller than men’s, that they shouldn’t show skin in the workplace because “sexuality scrambles the mind,” and that they shouldn’t speak face to face with men because it’s perceived as aggressive.
EY also said in its latest statement that it had canceled the Power-Purpose-Presence program entirely. The company had initially told HuffPost last week that, after a review, it would just not offer PPP in its “current form.”
It changed tack on Monday in the face of growing condemnation.
“The Power-Presence-Purpose program has been canceled. This voluntary program, which was delivered to a small group of approximately 150 EY professionals, does not reflect EY’s values or culture and should not have been offered to any of our women,” the company said in its statement. “To ensure this can never happen again, we are undertaking a comprehensive review of our processes and controls around program content as there is no question that elements of the program included offensive content that is inconsistent with our core beliefs.”