Businesses realize the importance of having mentoring as part of their recruitment, retention and talent development strategies.
“You always need a helping hand to help you get through your career and to guide you,” says Lushendren Pather, EY alumnus and Divisional Head of Bank Supervision at the South African Reserve Bank. Lushendren believes that the mentoring he received and the lessons in leadership he learned at EY were key to his success.
“EY gives you a great foundation from which to grow and build. But, at the same time, EY expects you to be the change that you want to be and to drive your own change,” he says.
It was during his stint at EY from 2000 to 2004 that Lushendren also learned firsthand the effectiveness of inclusive, accessible leadership styles. He found this style of leadership and management at EY pioneering, especially in a profession like auditing where hierarchical structures were traditionally the norm. Later on, in the positions he held at other companies, Lushendren practiced and preached this style himself – forsaking corner offices and other perks to be more accessible to his teams.
An imperative, not a choice
Young auditors need mentors they can look up to and get help from to succeed in the complex auditing landscape. “You always need a helping hand to help you get through your career and to guide you. Even now, I have a mentor. Throughout your career, and especially in your formative years, you need to have this guidance to help you get through your career and to also help you navigate the complex world of business and the complex world of financial services. I believe that we need to encourage young leaders to come out. We need to encourage and mentor youngsters, like I've had the opportunity at EY to be mentored and guided.”
It isn’t only career guidance that young auditors need help with. They need mentors who can explain to them the importance of values and live those values. “If we do take care of the youth especially in the auditing profession, which is going through a bit of turmoil at the moment and build these values of integrity and respect, I think that we are hedging ourselves for a strong future where we can believe in the profession and we can believe in having strong business leaders that are able to uphold these values in society.”