The month of August is dedicated to acknowledging and celebrating all women. We pay special tribute to more than 20 000 women who marched to the Union Buildings in August 1956.
In acknowledgement, we interviewed a few of our Mazarian trainees across the country. They spoke to us about their inspirations, how they got into the field and much more.
Meet Pamela Stewart, Trainee Accountant from our George office.
We are always interested in learning more about our trainees. Tell our readers more about yourself and the journey in your particular field.
Not your average accountant. I would say I’m one of those who wings it and it works.
The journey for me has always been about the journey and not the end goal. The whole process of constantly learning, struggling and overcoming those obstacles is what makes the CA(SA) journey so amazing. Every day on the job is a challenge. And the journey is just as rewarding as the qualification, and every day thereafter.
What attracted you to Mazars? What stood out about the firm?
The values that Mazars stands for is what attracted me at first. Mazars encourages and enhances individuality. A mainstream qualification does not necessarily mean a mainstream firm, and Mazars allows for this expression of individuality with integrity. Mazars really strives to reach for the stars, with ensuring that every employee shines.
From your perspective, what makes a great leader?
A great leader is one that shows knowledge with kindness to ensure you are equipped, without you realising you have been guided to where you need to be.
List some of your favourite “she-roes” (a female hero)
Rachel Kolisi – Need I say more. Empowerment, enlightening, encouraging!
Maya Angelou – A she-roe who symbolizes the essence to find your fire, and keep it burning, no matter the situation.
Michelle Obama – A living breathing light that displays how powerful unity is and can be. The kind of light reflecting unity, that could illuminate the whole earth.
From your experience within your career thus far, do you have any messages for future female graduates heading into the same field?
You don’t diminish your own light by helping others. Keep the kindness. The secret of your future is hidden in your daily routine and every kind word.
What is the best career advice you have ever received? This could be from a colleague, relative or a lecturer.
Have an urgency to live every day with a purposeful intention.
Share some of your favourite highlights since starting at Mazars. This could be work-related or even everyday interactions with your office colleagues.
The banter in the office. Being greeted every morning by office colleagues. Whether you are the pigeon, or the statue, dependant on the day, they add to the atmosphere that aids you through articles. Some of my favourite moments have been those not so good days, where it has been a struggle both mentally and emotionally. It is in those moments when you fight a little harder, dig a little deeper than it grows you as a person, in a way you never foresaw. With your fellow colleagues right there beside you.
The favourite highlight would be the year-end functions. After a seriously hard year of all work, it’s so rewarding to play.
Do you feel the COVID-19 pandemic has changed your view on the general work environment in any way?
YES! The pandemic has changed my view on how to approach work. It is so easy to fall into the routine of doing your sectioned allocation of work, then moving on to the next task to perform, carrying on with life. The pandemic shifted my comfort zone to integrate work, home and life into balance. My view now sees all the areas of work and life as one complete version of who I am and what I bring to the workplace.
How have you maintained focus and motivation in the face of changes brought by the pandemic? Highlight something important during your day-to-day, that helps you cope with certain challenges.
I constantly remind myself to just breathe, I am only human. At the end of the day, you have to push yourself as no one else is going to do it for you.
What do you think the future of audit, tax and advisory looks like in South Africa?
The future for South Africa is going to drastically change to what we currently know as our norm. I would say the future of audit, tax and advisory will be more virtual than our current reality. There would still be human interaction, though minimal, with all the work being online-based. It will be more integrated with advisory being the main key, keeping the communication lines open between business and outcome.
The best way to predict the future is to create it. I believe the future will be what we make it out to be, whatever we may choose. If the pandemic has taught us anything, we should be required and willing to adapt.