The RSM Education Trust was established in 2016 by RSM South Africa as the firm’s vehicle to benefit black women in South Africa, through funding their academic and other costs related to the pursuit of their CTA - Post Graduate Accounting Studies.
One of RSM’s core values, and heartbeat of the Trust, is that of Stewardship. RSM believes in giving back to the youth of South Africa and what better way than through education– it changes the world!. The RSM Education Trust is an on-going social responsibility initiative of RSM that has significantly impacted the lives of the beneficiaries past and present. To date, there have been 12 beneficiaries of the Trust.
All the beneficiaries of the RSM Education Trust are black women in terms of the B-BBEE legislation. The Trust is contributing towards transforming South Africa through education by offering the bursaries to young black women who have the potential to improve and transform their lives, and the lives of others.
Beneficiary 1: “I chose to apply for the RSM bursary because I was attracted by the fact that one of its requirements included being a black female in order to qualify for funding. That really stood out for me because I could see that RSM was invested in lifting up black communities specifically females, considering the various challenges such as poverty as well as breaking the past beliefs that women cannot be leaders and overall, contributing to closing the shortage gap of CA(SA)s in the country.”
Beneficiary 2: “RSM’s Motto is "the power of being understood". I saw from that motto that I would like to work in a place that seeks to understand its people. When you understand someone you give power to their hands and that makes the relationship healthy. More than anything RSM had something that I strongly value and believe in: Understanding.”
The Covid-19 Pandemic posed new challenges for the beneficiaries of the RSM Education Trust. The beneficiaries needed to innovate new ways to tackle stress induced by the Pandemic. Having to study virtually and to strike a balance between high coursework demands, limited support from campus staff and also living under strict lockdown regulations, increased their stress and made their 2021 academic year harder to navigate than most years.
Another challenge identified over the years has been that the beneficiaries could not find efficient and adaptive study methods that resulted in great academic achievements. As a result, the RSM Education Trust engaged its Independent Trustee Ms. Bonisiwa Madikizela, who is a Senior Lecturer in Accountancy and CA(SA), to host the 2022 Beneficiaries in a “CTA-Fitness Workshop” which is tailored towards managing the challenges of studying the CTA – Post Graduate Accounting Studies, providing the necessary skill and tool kit, and ensuring that the beneficiaries thrived.. RSM also placed its graduate relationship manager, who is also a licensed psychologist, at the disposal of the beneficiaries to provide additional support to them on their academic journey.
Previous beneficiaries of the RSM Education Trust have repeatedly thanked the Trust for alleviating the financial burden placed on the students to fund their academic studies, and providing support via the trustees, the administrators and the graduate relationship manager.
Through the RSM Education Trust, RSM will continue to contribute towards the success and transformation of black women in their journey of becoming a CA(SA).
RSM is committed to uplifting the auditing profession and to open the profession to previously disadvantaged persons. If a beneficiary is talented and has grit and determination, then the lack of funding should not hinder their dreams of eventually becoming a CA(SA). This vision aligns with RSM’s core values of respect, integrity, teamwork, excellence and stewardship.