Pizza Hut and YES launch LeadHERship initiative

“Every first paycheck in your life is very special to you. It doesn’t matter the actual amount. It makes you feel like you are now in your own right. In my case, it was a great experience as I felt mixed emotions of relief and of pride,” says Lerato Thabisile.

Thabisile is one of the young women who have benefited from the Youth Employment Service (YES) initiative and Pizza Hut LeadHERship in South Africa.

The LeadHERship initiative is a local adaptation in South Africa that is part of Pizza Hut International’s social goal framework: An Equal Slice for All.

“At Pizza Hut, our people come first and we take great pride in being able to bring that value to the world. Our social purpose framework of ‘An Equal Slice For Everyone’ enables us to foster fairness and belonging for the people who need it is the most,” says Beverley D’Cruz, brand office manager at Pizza Hut.

The brand says it is committed to fairness, opportunity and unity, adopting a locally-led but globally-connected approach, with a clear focus on its employees, customers and communities .

“This initiative will help these young women by providing them with 12 months of quality work experience, which will make them more employable in the future. A young woman is six times more likely to receive a callback after an interview if she has a legitimate reference letter,” adds Ewan Davenport, General Manager of Pizza Hut.

“The goal is to empower young and vulnerable women in marginalized communities by developing strategies for their employability and personal development,” Davenport said.

According to Stats SA, South African women make up 36.4% of the unemployed population, while women between the ages of 15 and 34 make up 48.7% of unemployed youth.

“Through this initiative, previously unemployed young women like Thabisile are earning salaries, improving their skills, acquiring new ones and building a CV to increase their future job prospects,” adds the acting COO of YES, Leanne Emery Hunter.

Hunter concludes, “Through this program, together with our Implementing Partners (IPs), YES has already placed 109 women in health services, creative entrepreneurship collectives, literacy programs and schools. With the success of the initiative so far, we continue to help break down structural and socio-economic barriers and provide women with an equal opportunity to play a role in the world of work.

The IPs where the young women were placed are as follows:

Youth Health for Africa
It is a youth-focused organization affiliated with the Aurum Institute. The 28 YES women work in clinics, hospitals and communities to advocate for lasting impact and action on key social determinants of health.

YCC (Youth Content Collective)
It helps turn young black creatives into micro-entrepreneurs. The program helps photographers, videographers and illustrators monetize their talents while meeting the business community’s need for fresh, authentic creative assets. 26 women were taken care of in the program. To see more information about this group, individuals can use the hashtag ‘#CreativePotentialRealOpportunity’.

Click on Learning
Deploys online literacy programs in English in underprivileged primary schools in South Africa and coordinates 27 young women who will help facilitate these literacy programs in school computer labs.

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Provides 28 women with one year of sustained and meaningful work experience. Young people were previously unemployed and were recruited into the arts, entertainment, recreation and education sectors.

For more information, visit You can also follow YES on Facebook or on Twitter.

Pizza Hut and YES To manage Youth Employment Service An equal slice for everyone #CreativePotentialRealOpportunity