EY announced on Wednesday that the Big Four firm has awarded a combined $1 million to the 2017 winners of its global recognition program, "Better begins with you." Entering its third year, the program looks to highlight EY staff members who have made significant contributions to the firm's motto of "building a better working world." Winners were announced at a "Better Begins with You" event on December 7 in Amsterdam.

Nominees were determined by their EY peers, with winners announced across four main categories. Winners will share the $1 million to further improve the initiatives they have been recognized for.

"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," stated Mark Weinberger, EY Global chairman and CEO. "I'm incredibly proud of this year's global winners and I'm excited to see how the [$1M] 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."

"Our people are at the heart of our organization," said Nancy Altobello, EY Global vice chair of talent, per a statement. "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."

The categories and winners of the 2017 "Better begins with you" program are as follows:

  • "Driving exceptional client service." EY member firm offices in Mumbai and Delhi were recognized for helping one of India's most famous home appliance brands become a more modern business.
  • "Strengthening our communities." Philippa Bridger, Core Business Services, from the EY member firm office in Cape Town, educated and mentored South African girls in need, and more than tripled the number of girls enrolled in EY's NextGen program in Africa.
  • "Pursuing innovation." Awarded to China's tax automation team, which automated a major tax function and developed a robotic process automation solution for a client.
  • "Creating exceptional EY experiences." The EY Presents team in the U.S. helped global EY staff members improve their public speaking skills, who then passed on those skills to their local communities.

For more information on the program and the 2017 winners, head to EY's site here.

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