Forty years on from the phrase ‘glass ceiling’ being used to define thwarted careers and ambitions - especially for women - ACCA is calling for business leaders to show real and measurable progress on diversity and social mobility issues, as it marks International Women’s Day 2018.
The global theme for this year’s event is #pressforprogress, seeking advances on a number of issues from gender pay parity to equality of opportunity. And to mark the occasion, ACCA Malaysia is launching its first Women’s Network, chaired by ACCA’s past-president Datuk Alexandra Chin FCCA.
Commenting on the launch of the Women’s Network, Datuk Alexandra Chin said: ‘2018 is the 40th anniversary of the phrase ‘glass ceiling’ first being used by the business consultant Marilyn Loden. It’s clear we still need to push for progress, and this is why we are launching our Women’s Network - to provide a platform for female ACCA members to network, share insights, support and promote career, and discuss issues that matter.
'Here in Malaysia, 59% of our members are women and the number continues to grow. The Malaysian government has also acknowledged the importance of the women agenda, having announced 2018 as the Year to Empower Women. With the launch of ACCA Malaysia Women’s Network today, young and aspiring female members of ACCA in Malaysia would be able to gain access to senior and successful ACCA members who can mentor them. ACCA women in Malaysia can now look forward to programmes and networking opportunities specially catered for them.’
‘Looking forward, if there’s an area where I’d like to see sustained progress, it’s to ensure career ladders break through the glass ceiling for women. We have to take a wider view and seek progress on social mobility - unequal access to opportunities still exist for many women and men.’
The Launch of ACCA Malaysia Women’s Network was graced by Her Excellency Victoria Treadell, British High Commissioner to Malaysia and attended by ACCA Council and ACCA Malaysia Advisory Committee members, including President Dato’ Merina Abu Tahir. ACCA Malaysia kick-started the ACCA Malaysia Women’s Network with an inspiring panel session from various panellists in the world of business and government, sharing stories and insights. The panellists for the session included:
- Datuk Alexandra Chin, Chair of the ACCA Malaysia Women’s Network, past ACCA Global President and Member of the ACCA Malaysia Avisory Committe
- Ms Jessica Macias, Development Director, Lean In Malaysia and Co-Founder & Managing Director of Leadpreneur
- Mr. Andrew Chan, Malaysia Consulting Leader and Sustainability & Climate Change Leder, PwC Malaysia
- Mdm Sugunah Verumandy, Head of Industry, Talent Partnerships and Solutions (IPTS), Talent Corporation Berhad Malaysia.
Edward Ling, Head of ACCA Malaysia added: ‘ACCA has welcomed policies to address issues such as disparity in pay and boardroom diversity. And there are examples of good practice highlighted in our recent report Generation next: managing talent in large accountancy firms which shows how the Big Four are addressing diversity to ensure women have a place and voice in their business.
'The accountancy profession is an attractive career choice for many because of the flexibility and choice it offers. At ACCA, we’ve made opportunity a reality, with an open access policy that enables anyone to qualify as a professional accountant. By simply removing the need for prior qualifications, we’ve created access to a profession that offers a rewarding career.'
ACCA says employers and their recruitment strategies are part of the success equation for diversity. Edward Ling adds: ‘As our Gen Next report shows, creating the leaders of tomorrow is an on-going task for firms. The tone clearly has to be set from the top, with a transparent culture that’s committed to diversity. We have to measure this progress too – after all, what’s not measured can’t be managed.’
Alexandra Chin concluded, ‘Effective corporate leadership is needed to achieve real and lasting progress. And ACCA believes this can be made through open discussion, transparent reporting and ensuring diversity is an integral part of how we work now and in the future.’
- ends -
Key facts about ACCA
ACCA has a strong commitment to gender diversity, both as a professional body and as an employer. Its Council, made up of 36 members, is represented by 58% women (21 Council members).
• 46% of ACCA members and 56% of ACCA students are women
• 55% of ACCA’s senior staff are women
ACCA was the first professional accountancy body to:
• admit a women to membership – Ethel Ayres Purdie
• appoint a woman president – Vera Di Palma
• appoint a woman chief executive – Anthea Rose
• appoint a woman from Asia Pacific as its president in 2016 – Alexandra Chin
For media enquiries, contact:
Adeline Fong, Senior Manager, Public Relations
Tel: +603-2289 0117
Mob: +6012-381 5589
ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) is the global body for professional accountants, offering 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.
ACCA supports its 200,000 members and 486,000 students in 180 countries, helping them to develop successful careers in accounting and business, with the skills required by employers. ACCA works through a network of 101 offices and centres and more than 7,200 Approved Employers worldwide, who provide high standards of employee learning and development. Through its public interest remit, ACCA promotes appropriate regulation of accounting and conducts relevant research to ensure accountancy continues to grow in reputation and influence.
ACCA is currently introducing major innovations to its flagship qualification to ensure its members and future members continue to be the most valued, up to date and sought-after accountancy professionals globally.
Founded in 1904, ACCA has consistently held unique core values: opportunity, diversity, innovation, integrity and accountability. More information is here: www.accaglobal.com