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EY People: Meet Tatenda Marodza

Category: equality, diversity and inclusion, successful women, Black Talent, Ernst & Young, Assurance, Audit Manager, Employee Networks, Career opportunity, inclusive employer, Testimonials, belonging, Career and Talent Development, EY, BME, career progression

Career and Talent Development

Tatenda Mardoza, Audit Manager at EY

Tatenda Mardoza, Audit Manager at EY 

 

For our Diversity Stories Month, we spoke to Tatenda Mardoza, Audit Manager at EY. Tatenda is originally from Zimbabwe. She moved to South Africa to study at university and started her career as a trainee accountant in Johannesburg. During training, Tatenda sat for the board exams with the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants and qualified as a chartered accountant in January, 2016. 

“Just before I qualified, a friend of mine informed me of a Senior Audit Executive opportunity at EY. I sent my CV and then they started contacting me. There was an interview and I got a call saying ‘you've got the job!’ I then moved to the UK to join their team.

 

Career Progression

I actually just got promoted to manager in Assurance this March. Being a manager, there's more of a bigger picture view of what you're doing instead of a zoomed-in view of my previous position. I'm also a counsellor, helping colleagues progress and reach their goals, it is like a mentor type of role within the firm.

It is this variety in my role that I enjoy the most. Every single day is different. I manage a wider array of clients and they all do different things. I am lucky that the people I work with are so lovely. I actually really enjoy working with them!

 

Moving to the UK

Being away from home was not a big challenge per se, as I used to go to boarding school in Zimbabwe since I was 10 years old. And straight after finishing boarding school I moved to South Africa at the age of 18. So being away from home is not new for me. However, being this far away is obviously very different because when I was in South Africa I would hop on a plane and in an hour, I'd be at home. Now it takes months of planning.

There's a big cultural difference. In Zimbabwe, you don't call your elders by their first names. I'm here in the office calling the Managing Partner by their first name. That’s a cultural shift. I can even hold debates and disagree with someone at a senior level and it's perfectly fine, but that's not something that comes easy in my culture. So there was a lot of adjusting. There's a whole lot of newness that comes when you move to a new place and a new job.

 

The EY Welcome

When I moved to the UK, they did actually give me accommodation to stay in for the first few weeks. They are really understanding. Even before moving to the UK, I was given a booklet explaining a lot of things about how the transport system works, you know, opening a bank account, and so on. It made the transition easier because they've given me the information beforehand. 

EY allocate you a buddy! This is someone who's been through the same path and gives you advice. They're your go-to person if you need help with anything, even outside work. That’s what the Buddy Programme is for. When I joined, I had a buddy and then I got to be an EY buddy for three people who've relocated to join the firm.

 

 

EY Voice

EY is very people oriented. The way they care about their people is exceptional. I'm in a good position to say this as I'm also part of a team called ‘EY Voice’. I got elected last year to be a representative for the South region. There are about 14 or 15 representatives within the firm from different service lines and different regions. We hold meetings with leadership and we feed in messages from all employees, discussing what they are happy and unhappy about. Our leaders genuinely care. Last year we asked for an extra day off during December break and it was approved.

 

EY Networks

There are many networks at EY, like the Black Community Network, LGBT Network; and beside them there are policies that support people within these communities. EY produced the seven anti-racism commitments in the UK and we are actually challenging leadership as part of EY Voice to ask where we stand with these commitments. As a result, we can see change when it comes to diversity in recruitment and promotions. 

EY has family networks that will support you in every way. My dad passed away at the beginning of the year and this was during the busiest season. They told me to take my time and not to worry about the amount of days I needed to take off. During the pandemic, EY extended the amount of bereavement and family emergency days. I can speak from experience, people really do come around you and do whatever they can to support you.

 

#WeBelong

In my office I'm part of what we call #WeBelong. We do a lot of activities, covering a wide array of D&I topics. Yesterday we delivered training about Quiet Leadership and how you don’t have to be overlooked because you are not the loudest person in the room. A few days ago our guests were a female senior manager, to show how women can progress, and a partner in the US who originally came to the UK as a refugee from Uganda. We have a monthly Getting to Know series. We’ve got people from different countries at EY, so we ask them to do a 30-60 minutes talk about their country. 

 

EY Volunteering

I'm also part of the EY Race and Ethnicity Network. Coming from a different country, it's a good network to join because you meet people who are going through the same experience. There's a lot of support, learning and volunteering opportunities. I chose to volunteer for mentoring youth from the black community. Moreover, EY has its own social responsibility foundation which provides different ways to make a positive impact within the world.

 

An Opportunity of a Lifetime

Our final question to Tatenda was what she would say to someone who is considering a job at EY:

“I would say do it! This has been an opportunity of a lifetime for me. It has built my confidence, allowing me to step out of my comfort zone. I mean, if I could do it, honestly, anyone can too.” 





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