Celebrating Leslie DeHoff's Career Leap

There’s a popular perception that you have to jump ship and make a drastic change in order to truly succeed in your career and create an impactful life. I’m living proof that staying the course is sometimes the greatest career Leap you can take.

As a lead audit partner in the Greater Los Angeles retail practice of Ernst & Young LLP (EY), Leslie DeHoff is the person many of the world’s most well-known retail brands turn to for help addressing their complex financial issues. Whether it’s keeping her clients informed about new accounting standards or industry trends that will impact their businesses, Leslie is a trusted advisor to clients that range from Fortune 500 companies to startup retail brands in Southern California and around the world.

Some are surprised when they find out that Leslie has worked in the retail industry for nearly two decades—and that her entire career path has been paved at EY. Leslie is quick to note the value in staying with one company, learning as much as you can and remaining open to new opportunities. Even after nearly twenty years with EY, she says that her job is never boring and every day brings an exciting and different challenge. Moreover, Leslie believes that doubling down at an organization can help you hone in on the important things and create even greater social impact.

One of the most notable turns in Leslie’s career trajectory was when she was promoted to a partner at the firm—which involves a rigorous selection process. Leslie’s “Leap” came, not with her leadership role, but with the realization that she had a new vehicle and responsibility for creating greater impact and helping other women take big Leaps. Her passion for building relationships and connecting women to the resources and opportunities that help them thrive runs deep. It’s also perfectly aligned with EY’s purpose of building a better working world—which Leslie credits as one of the reasons for her long tenure with the firm.

Even with a demanding schedule and an impressive roster of retail clients, Leslie says it’s important to her to make time to bring professional business women together and to inspire the next generation of women leaders. As a board member of Step Up, Leslie leads with purpose through her work with the nonprofit organization, which helps underserved girls fulfill their potential by empowering them to become confident, college-bound, career-focused and ready to join the next generation of professional women. Leslie is also deeply committed to connecting EY’s Professional Women’s Network with other like-minded organizations like California Women Lead, which convenes and provides leadership training to women who hold elected and appointed positions in government.

She wants young women to know that, “life will throw you curve balls and you’ll want to take cover, but sometimes the bravest thing you can do is to look for the opportunities to rise, and help lift others up with you.”

Leslie, we salute you for using your platform to illuminate the path to leadership for girls and women and helping them take big Leaps!

BlogChelsea Kardokus