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.
‘For over a century ACCA has been shaped and led by many pioneering women, and gender equality remains at the top of the agenda’ says ACCA President Leo Lee FCCA. At ACCA we owe a large part of our identity, our diversity, our past and future to the many pioneering women who have shaped and led ACCA.
Ethel Ayres Purdie being the first woman to become a member in 1909, ACCA has come a long way to have 46% women among its global family of 200,000 members. 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. Moreover, 56% of ACCA students and 55% of ACCA’s senior staff are women.
Ahsanul Hoque Bashar, Head of ACCA Bangladesh adds: ‘The accountancy profession is an attractive career choice for many because of the flexibility and choice it offers. At ACCA we’ve made the 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.’
Across the world, ACCA members and staff are campaigning for progress on gender equality. We are vocal about issues such as disparity in pay and boardroom diversity. We, together with many others, continue to work towards achieving the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal 5: to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls by 2030. 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. This includes KPMG’s women in finance forum and Deloitte conducting ‘blind interviews’ to tackle recruitment bias.’