December 13, 2018
“How can women reach the top in accounting?” This Fortune headline appeared in print a mere three years ago. While 50 percent of accounting graduates are now women, only a small number of female accounting professionals have senior roles in firms and companies. This number is growing, but there is still much room for improvement.
In order to build a female-friendly profession, together we need to create a profession where women thrive and where more women break glass ceilings. I started my own practice after a previous employer expected me to return from maternity leave after only three weeks. Instead, I took five. During that time I researched starting a practice with the vision of providing a working environment that I desired as an employee. It has been the best thing that ever happened to me, but it should not be the way women have to rise into leadership roles.
The accounting profession owes a lot to its female pioneers. I recently heard the story of Nella Ebert who became a CPA back in 1951. At that time she was required to include her height and weight on her resume. Thanks to Ebert and others like her, we have evolved past that. Yet, workplaces across America have significant areas for improvement and accounting firms and departments are no exception.
For women to reach the top in accounting, they need to:
As a profession, there is still a lot to be tackled when it comes to the advancement, recognition and reward of women. When half of our leadership pool is female, we must invest in the women coming up in accounting’s ranks. That requires empowering them in addition to developing a culture that provides equal grounds for success. It’s how we will keep our profession moving forward.
Ignite the conversation!
What ways are you inspiring women in your organization?
What motivates you professionally? Is there a female leader who has inspired you to follow your career passion? Give her a shout-out by nominating her for a KSCPA/AICPA 'Women to Watch' Award!
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