Kevin Stiner | October 21, 2023
Diversify the Corporate World
Jamie Bergeron ’08 leads change efforts for a global Big Four accounting firm.
As a Manager of Americas Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Center of Excellence at Ernst & Young, LLP (EY), Jamie Bergeron ’08 works alongside a team of professionals that guides DEI efforts for a community of 95,000+ employees across 33 countries. Bergeron leads culture change initiatives related to Employee Resource Groups, allyship, LGBTQ+ strategy, and women and gender strategies in the workplace, while striving to eliminate bias and progress an equity framework across the organization.
“I lead and manage the community of about 30,000 Employee Resource Group members across the Americas,” Bergeron said. “I work with Chapter leaders and Executive Champions to set the strategy and execute on plans which create a culture of belonging for all our people. I consult with teams in Canada, Mexico, Brazil, the US, and more about how to create programs that make a difference, and how to analyze our data around progression.”
Bergeron notes the skills she acquired from her double major in Spanish language and literature and women and gender studies at Brockport are indispensable for her day-to-day work at EY.
“I think in the humanities, tangible industry skills are not as direct-to-career as it would be for a chemistry degree or computer science degree, so it can be hard for people to articulate how to move from a humanities major into a business setting,” shared Bergeron. “However, for my work at a global organization, being able to critically analyze the needs and concerns of underrepresented groups, or historically marginalized groups around the world is an essential skillset for my career.”
Bergeron started her journey after high school with a gap year in Costa Rica. After returning stateside, she decided a major in Spanish Language and Literature was a perfect fit. She credits Professor Andrea Parada and emeritus Victor Rojas for inspiring inner confidence as a first-generation student.
“To this day I use my Spanish language and cultural competency skills. Knowing about the political and cultural environment across Latin America is very important to my job.”
Jamie Bergeron ’08
“Dr. Rojas helped demystify academia and make learning fun for me,” Bergeron said. “And Dr. Parada is the first person I ever remember mentioning going to graduate school. I have vivid memories of her saying to me, ‘You’ve got to go to grad school, you have to get a master’s degree. You are that smart, you can do it.’”
Bergeron went on to earn a master’s degree in educational administration from the University at Buffalo, but not before picking up a second major in Women and Gender Studies where Professor Barbara LeSavoy helped set Bergeron on her career path.
“Dr. LeSavoy was one of the best teachers, mentors, champions I’ve had in my whole life,” Bergeron stated. “She not only set my career trajectory, but she also gave me real opportunities to showcase my writing and research at Brockport and externally at conferences. Maybe, most importantly, she taught me how to apply global and intersectional perspectives to movements.”
Now, Bergeron leads initiatives, writes reports, and participates on panels and at conferences to help push DEI efforts forward. She is proud of EY’s transparency and willingness to share both successful and unsuccessful initiatives.
“Achieving workplace equity is a journey,” Bergeron said. “This work is going to be constantly evolving. There are a lot of external pressures and political pressures on this work, and that reality is completely different from country-to-country throughout the Americas. Being transparent is one of the real reasons I love working for EY because we’re interested in making equity progress and moving things forward. We really walk the talk.”