Women in Accounting – An Actual Practice More Than a Concept?

Simran Garewal (Upper Sixth) responds to Accounting Today’s recent article on how women’s opportunities in accounting and finance have improved over the past 10 years

It comes as no surprise that when researching inspiring female accountants, the options were despairingly sparse, almost definitely leaving me extremely demotivated for the career path I had chosen.

Thankfully – and very luckily – I came across a mini article on the Accounting Today news blog that rekindled my faith in a possible success.

The piece reports on claims that the opportunities for female professionals had increased in the past 10 years, according to 42% of CFOs surveyed by the staffing company Robert Half.

Now, 42%, one might say, is not an amazingly large number; and maybe even a slight contradiction to the proclaimed ’great strides’ companies are apparently taking.

And yet, one cannot deny the fact that this issue is being heavily discussed, debated and recognised is a miracle in itself. Where, 10 years ago, the concept of a qualified female accountant was possibly a joke shared by friends over drinks, nowadays it’s almost a battle call. Women are being encouraged and inspired to pursue a career in what is sadly still a male dominated employment sector.

What is more inspiring yet is that senior executive, Paul McDonald, feels that there is more to be done to ensure that women are rising through the ranks at the same pace as their male counterparts. The existence of the AFWA (Accounting and Financial Women’s Alliance), for example, fills me with hope and excitement to enter this line of employment, knowing that there is a body of people supporting me.

There used to be a time when women were scared of crossing ‘the glass ceiling’, afraid of compromising their lives and of discrimination. But times are changing, and it will be a wonderful relief to watch as we shatter this oppressive barrier together.

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