ACCA - The global body for professional accountants
While these figures are certainly promising, as an industry we must work together to ensure that female talent is nurtured and supported. Despite encouraging numbers of women entering the profession, they are still under-represented in high level positions in the industry. The profession must work together collectively to find ways of helping women reach the more senior positions
—Helen Brand OBE, chief executive, ACCA

The number of female accountants across the globe has been rising steadily in recent years but more must be done to ensure the profession is more diverse especially in leadership roles, says ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) ahead of International Women’s Day 2013

According to data on the UK accountancy profession the number of qualified female accountants rose from 30 per cent in to 34 per cent between 2006 and 2011 while the percentage of females studying for their accountancy qualifications fluctuated between 48 per cent and 49 per cent. ACCA has a high percentage of both female students and members globally (44 per cent of members and 50 per cent of ACCA students are female).

Commenting on International Women's Day, Helen Brand, chief executive of ACCA, said: 'Accountancy is often perceived as a male dominated industry, but the number of women in the profession has been rising steadily in recent years.'

Brand continued, 'International Women's Day is a day for celebrating progress, but also recognising what still needs to be done. While these figures are certainly promising, as an industry we must work together to ensure that female talent is nurtured and supported. Despite encouraging numbers of women entering the profession, they are still under-represented in high level positions in the industry. The profession must work together collectively to find ways of helping women reach the more senior positions.'

In December 2012, a report, Women in finance; a springboard to corporate board positions?, commissioned by ACCA and the ESRC (Economic and Social Research Council) from Cranfield School of Management revealed that a financial qualification or a background which demonstrates substantial financial acumen are seen as catalysts for women getting onto the boards of FTSE companies.

ACCA is committed to diversity in the profession and had the first woman member of any professional accountancy body – Ethel Ayres Purdie, who became a member of ACCA in 1909. ACCA says that with its current student profile, women are set to overtake their male counterparts with 50.7 per cent global membership.

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For more information, please contact:

Steve Rudaini, ACCA Newsroom
+ 44 (0) 20 7059 5622
+44 (0) 07801133985
steve.rudaini@accaglobal.com

Helen Thompson, ACCA Newsroom
+44 (0)20 7059 5759
+44 (0)7725 498654
helen.thompson@accaglobal.com

Notes to Editors

  1. ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) is the global body for professional accountants. We aim to offer business-relevant, first-choice qualifications to people of application, ability and ambition around the world who seek a rewarding career in accountancy, finance and management.
  2. We support our 154,000 members and 432,000 students in 170 countries, helping them to develop successful careers in accounting and business, with the skills required by employers. We work through a network of over 80 offices and centres and more than 8,400 Approved Employers worldwide, who provide high standards of employee learning and development. Through our public interest remit, we promote appropriate regulation of accounting and conduct relevant research to ensure accountancy continues to grow in reputation and influence.
  3. Founded in 1904, ACCA has consistently held unique core values: opportunity, diversity, innovation, integrity and accountability. We believe that accountants bring value to economies in all stages of development and seek to develop capacity in the profession and encourage the adoption of global standards. Our values are aligned to the needs of employers in all sectors and we ensure that through our qualifications, we prepare accountants for business. We seek to open up the profession to people of all backgrounds and remove artificial barriers, innovating our qualifications and delivery to meet the diverse needs of trainee professionals and their employers.