Priorities at the top

Anne-Marie Hubert, FCPA, FCA, Quebec-based managing partner at EY, talks about the importance of equality in the workplace and the challenges facing accounting consultants.

Q: You supervise 830 employees. What does that mean in terms of your day-to-day functions?

A: I believe there is no single leader, but rather 830 leaders. Our professional services firm has access to everything that goes on around the world. We can channel our energies into making a difference for our clients.

You have been involved in many gender-equality initiatives. Why?

Demographic and economic challenges are closely linked, and nearly half of Canada’s population is made up of women. It is only fair that they be given every opportunity to contribute their full potential. I have worked hard for the advancement of women, but I dream of a world where men and women, regardless of their cultural background or sexual orientation, young or old, will be able to thrive in the workplace.

What are your priorities when you get to the office in the morning?

My employees and my clients. I care about better understanding our clients’ needs so that our human resources can be deployed in the best possible way. At the end of my career, I want to have created quality jobs while contributing to the success of EY clients.

What are the main challenges today for accounting consulting firms?

The No. 1 challenge will always be recruiting the best and the brightest. We want to work with people we can trust, who have the necessary professional skills and who will ask better questions.

What have you learned after 31 years of leadership consultation?

All these years have been a lifelong learning opportunity. We have a program called EYU (EY and you). We offer training and tell our recruits, “You will be learning your entire life.” Each mandate and each project also becomes a new training experience.

Quebec managing partner since January 1, Anne-Marie Hubert joined EY in 1985 after graduating with a bachelor of commerce degree from the University of Ottawa that same year. She obtained her CA (CPA) designation in 1987. From 2002 to 2006, she headed EY’s gender parity initiatives. She was awarded the title of Fellow of the Ordre des comptables agréés du Québec in 2004.