Arun Batra named Partner in EY's diversity advisory wing

02 August 2019 4 min. read
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Newly promoted EY Partner Arun Batra has been named in the Queen’s birthday honours list. Batra dedicated his OBE to his late father, who he says negotiated the development of the Hindu temple and the Indian community centre in Nottingham despite suffering from racist abuse.

Mounting public pressure has seen diversity become a prominent workplace issue, following reports highlighting various forms of harassment, gaps in remuneration and wider biases, whether implicit or explicit. While the issues are relatively clear, a majority of businesses are failing to take a proactive stance on the matter – with a recent study showing that less than 50% of investors and businesses prioritise inclusion and diversity.

This has seen a number of firms move to get ahead of the curve, with stronger policies that will better attract a diverse array of talent amid a tightening labour market. EY is one such company, with the Big Four member reporting on pay gap by ethnicity and gender, participating in a number of Government initiatives such as the Equalities Office’s ‘Think, Act, Report’ framework, and HM Treasury’s Women in Finance Charter. The professional services giant also founded and sponsored the National Equality Standard in 2013, helping create the UK’s first universal assessment scheme for diversity and inclusiveness compliance.

Now, the firm has moved to commend one of its leading diversity champions, announcing that Arun Batra has been named a Partner in EY’s UK business. Batra arrived at EY as a Director – Culture, Diversity and Inclusion in 2012, before becoming an Associate Partner in the area last year. As Partner, Batra will now take the helm of the firm’s new UK National Equality Standard, which he founded, while also leading EY's market facing Culture Diversity and Inclusion practice.Arun Batra - Partner at EY

The news comes as Batra also receives an OBE for his services to diversity in the UK, capping a long career of promoting inclusion in and out of the workplace. Over the last 20 years, he has accrued a variety of high-profile roles and achievements, including leading diversity and inclusiveness for the London Mayors economic development agency and advising the Attorney General and leading diversity in the Criminal Justice Group in the Home Office. 2018 also saw Batra accept an invitation from 10 Downing Street to help tackle racial disparity in Britain.

Batra has also been recognised with a number of industry accolades. In 2015, he won the prestigious HR Consultant of the Year prize at the Management Consultancies Association Awards and has often been recognised as one of the UK’s most influential Asians in the Asian Power List.

Commenting on the news via his personal LinkedIn profile, Batra said, “Today is a special day, special because today I become an equity partner at EY… I also learnt  that I would receive an OBE for my services to diversity. Both of these events are life changing.”

Speaking about his roots, Batra added, “Those who know me well will know the journey has not always been easy, with many bumps on the way both personally and professionally, but notwithstanding, the one person, other than my long suffering wife, who comes front of mind is my late father who came to the UK and started life as a taxi driver and whilst working 7 days a week negotiated the development of the Hindu temple and the Indian community centre in Nottingham – both are still thriving.”

He went on to state his father had dedicated his life to supporting others despite suffering from racial abuse – something which even saw him hospitalised – and that “he simply carried on”, even in the face of adversity and intolerance. Batra concluded, that his father “was never rewarded for his efforts”, and so he had decided to dedicate the OBE entirely to him.

Following the honours announcement, meanwhile, Steve Varley, EY UK Chair, added, “Arun has done an exceptional job championing diversity and inclusiveness throughout his career. He has made a real difference creating change not just at EY but across UK business. I am delighted that he has been recognised with this honour.”