Philippa Bridger of EY South Africa wins 'better begins with you' award

29 January 2018 3 min. read

The award for efforts to ‘strengthen communities’ in this year’s EY better begins with you program has gone to South African employee Philippa Bridger, in recognition of her success in leading EY’s NextGen program and for her committed participation in mentorship for the program.

The gender-ratio in the South African workplace, particularly in the upper echelons, has come under increased scrutiny recently. A report from management consultancy Bain & Company last year revealed that women in South Africa were unable to rise beyond certain positions in the corporate world, despite being as capable and equally motivated as their male co-workers.

Last year, a number of female appointments in senior positions displayed a promising shift in this trend. British Petroleum, for instance, announced its first ever female black CEO in the form of Priscilla Mabelane, following from two other appointments of women to senior positions at the firm.

Big Four firm KPMG also made a promising move in this direction. As part of restructuring efforts, Nhlamu Dlomu was appointed the new CEO of KPMG’s South African outfit, while 30% of the new team was also female. Meanwhile, former Manager at Deloitte, Batandwa Mdyesha became the new CEO at BAIC in South Africa.

NextGen program

Established in 2012, EY’s NextGen program is designed to facilitate precisely these types of trends. The program lays emphasis on skill development to prepare future leaders in South Africa, targeting the youth, especially girls, from disadvantaged communities.

EY better begins with you

As Program Manager at NextGen on a purely volunteer basis, Office Manager at EY Cape Town Philippa Bridger has devoted long hours to mentoring and training young girls in need. Since commencing these efforts, Bridger has ensured that the number of girls enrolled in external EY NextGen programs has more than doubled. Her dedication has also sparked EY to bolster its involvement in the program across South Africa.

In recognition of her tremendous commitment, EY has presented Bridger with the award for 'strengthening communities’ at this years ‘better begins with you’ program, which is organised annually to internally recognise and encourage outstanding individual or team performances across the firm's global network.

Commenting on this year’s winners, Global CEO and Chairman of EY, Mark Weinberger said, “The winners are great examples of EY people and teams who have demonstrated commitment to building a better working world in unique and impactful ways every day. I’m incredibly proud of this year’s global winners and I’m excited to see how the $1 million investment will allow each of these teams to grow their initiatives so they can continue making a lasting impact on the people and broader communities they serve.”

Meanwhile, EY’s Global Vice Chair for Talent, Nancy Altobello said, “Our people are at the heart of our organisation. They regularly find new and creative ways to solve complex problems and deliver the best possible results for our clients, communities and our business. The Better begins with you program not only celebrates those individuals and teams for their exceptional achievements, but it also inspires and motivates our 250,000 people about the greater impact their work has on the world around them.”