Trust, Integrity & Inclusion
EY Americas Managing Partner Knows How to Successfully Lead Through Trust, Integrity, and Inclusion
Story By: Diane Alter
Steve Howe jumps out of bed day every day excited and ready for whatever comes his way. He loves the guaranteed daily chaos, the endless travel, and the tremendous variety of expected and unexpected activities. Going on 34 years at Ernst & Young, Howe relishes his job more today than when he started.
Howe joined Ernst & Young in 1983 and has risen through the ranks to become the firm’s Area Managing Partner. Prior to his current position, he ran the firm’s Financial Services practice, where he served as an audit partner and senior advisory partner. To prepare him for his career, Howe earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematical economics from Colgate University, and an MBA in accounting and finance from New York University.
Howe’s position at EY is indeed one that would make most people hit the snooze button a few more times, but he truly enjoys what he does. He currently leads EY’s American unit, which is made up of more than 65,000 people across 30 countries — all who report to him. He is EY’s Managing Partner in the U.S. and he chairs the EY Americas Operating Executive and the U.S. board. He also represents Ernst & Young LLP in its regulatory relationships and as executive sponsor for inclusiveness.
The energetic Howe, with a cadence that suggests calm and reason along with purpose, approaches every day with the understanding that no matter what comes his way, he must be ready. He views every setback, every obstacle, and every issue as an opportunity to learn and grow. While his job presents a host of challenges, it also allows him to help others achieve their goals, no matter how big or small.
The great big world, he said, continues to get smaller and smaller. Technology has fostered an environment that is always plugged in and turned on, and as a result, we are all more connected. Since the 2008 financial crisis, the pace of change and connectivity has quickened, and Howe says the challenges are now much greater. Making people more comfortable with change and finding ways to communicate EY’s ambitions of helping companies build a better business world has been a major adjustment. That is why he believes it is so important to get out into the marketplace, to understand different cultures, and to embrace the many differences.
“Ours is a people business that entails effectively working with our vast and varied clients,” Howe told Latino Leaders. “It is also a very complex and rapidly changing business. While that can be challenging, it also creates lucrative and exciting opportunities. Since our clients and teams come from such diverse backgrounds and cultures, we place great emphasis on embracing those cultural differences with both our customers and employees. Over the years, we have learned just how much diversity allows all people to contribute more, to contribute better, and to contribute stronger.”
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