We interviewed Elizabeth to learn her secrets to always being at the forefront of change. Her dedication to enhancing value, commitment to integrity and quest to always do the right thing for clients, teams and all stakeholders is her driving force.
Elizabeth Orluike Partner, Audit & Assurance Sustainability services leader Mazars in Nigeria
A couple of years ago, Ojike & Partners merged with Mazars. How was this experience for you and how did it impact your career?
It was exciting! I knew this was an important milestone that would come with countless possibilities and opportunities. I was really looking forward to having access to Mazars’ resources, knowledge and expertise, but more importantly, I looked forward to working directly with a team of about 100 people to exchanging with over 44,000 new colleagues across the globe who share the same vision.
Today, some of these new colleagues have become friends. Also, not long after the merger I became a Partner. So far, I see it as one of the best calls we made that year!
The fact that we share the same values such as fairness and mutual respect, as well as our dedication to transparency and open communication, were key ingredients in making this transition a success.
In terms of change management, what career advice would you give to men and women facing a similar situation?
It is said that change is the only constant in life. You either evolve or disintegrate. Change seems inevitable as part of the growth process, hence the need to always be prepared, to plan for and embrace change. That’s what I always strive to do. For me change means new opportunities, challenges and successes!
What do you like about your role at Mazars?
I really enjoy the teamwork, the genuine care from everyone and the open-door policy that exists. I also love working with a team of smart and professional people who come together to help clients meet their business objectives.
I also very much appreciate the fact that I can get involved in projects outside of my day-to-day. Currently, I lead a partnership with an NGO called Street Kid Africa, as part of the firm’s commitment to corporate social responsibility (CSR).
Tell us more about your project with Street Kid Africa and the CSR culture at Mazars
Our firm has a well-thought through CSR strategy, which guides us when planning our commitments and initiatives for the year. Education and transmitting to future generations sit at the heart of Mazars’ DNA. This is why we decided to partner with Street Kid Africa – an NGO that facilitates learning in vulnerable and underprivileged rural areas – as we wanted to play our part in our country where a staggering 13 million children are not in school. With this partnership, Mazars provides school supplies and scholarships to 40 pupils in the rural Makoko community. We aim to foster inclusive education to raise street kids out of poverty and show them that they can reach their aspirations.
We actually now plan to extend our reach further and are discussing new projects with other NGOs that align with our values and purpose.
For me personally, I got involved because of my zeal to enact change and my interest in sustainability. I have had access to great support and mentors throughout my career and I truly believe in paying it forward. At Mazars, it is easy to get involved in CSR initiatives because it is a firm that strives to be at the forefront change and always supports its people’s aspirations. So I just did it.
Why is it important that professionals engage in CSR?
I think the act of volunteering is actually quite a personal and individual thing; it has to come from within and you have to be passionate about it. For me it is liberating, fulfilling, and brings with it a renewed sense of purpose in me. I also believe that for professionals, it helps to pay it forward so that you are doing your bit for the generation coming after you to give them an even better platform.