Image of three light-skinned young women with head coverings (likely hijab), smiling in mid-conversation standing in a bright hallway s

The realities of one person’s story helps others in their own moments of reflection. Reflecting on our own lives is a valuable exercise and hindsight is a wonderful thing, where we may see our decisions in a different light to consider how things have developed.


ACCA’s report Leading Inclusion noted the importance of shared experiences and explored the agenda of diversity, inclusion and equity through the lens of the profession. This selection of stories from ACCA members and future members from around the world illustrates some of their successes, and the challenges that they have faced. 

They are not unique in overcoming these challenges; but rather are representative of the many. We hope that their stories provide inspiration for others to follow in their footsteps, and see that what may at times, seem unachievable can be attained. 

Each story has points to reflect upon. You may be able to identify what you need to take from them, but there are a few suggestions at the end of each piece to initiate the process if needed.

The ACCA Qualification

All those interviewed for this publication agree on one thing: gaining the ACCA Qualification requires focus and effort, and that is what makes it valuable. By achieving, or seeking to achieve, this milestone they have gained not just knowledge and an internationally recognised qualification but also inner confidence and an appetite for life-long learning.

Growing professionally and personally

For our interviewees, personal growth came with professional growth. They have demonstrated the ability take on any future challenge, solving complex issues through frank and open  communication with colleagues and clients. 

Overcoming obstacles

The stories highlight some of the obstacles our interviewees faced on their way to building successful careers such as; finance and logistics, juggling work, family and study including various types of discrimination. 

Adversity can often seem to be an insurmountable challenge however these stories tell us that it also be an opportunity, especially if you have the support and encouragement of others.

Getting support and giving back

While placing a high value on self-reliance and hard work, our interviewees appreciate the support they have received from family, government programmes, colleagues and mentors. Now they want to play a similar role for others following in their footsteps, whether by going back to their schools and universities, mentoring and coaching colleagues or volunteering in their communities to add value.

Each story in this report demonstrates a personal journey and commitment to a vision. While that vision may evolve it is the fortitude that their stories demonstrate that is the key to understanding them.