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The number of women in the accounting field has exploded in the past few decades. In the 1990s, the participation of women in accounting was low, partly due to inflexible schedules and bias toward working mothers.
Today, females make up 54.1 percent of the legal and accounting workforce in the United Kingdom. Attitudes have changed in society, and retention programs have successfully increased the number of women pursuing accounting as a career.
Education and Demand
Across the globe, the need for accountants has grown in the past few decades. Women have benefited from efforts to attract them to the accounting profession like financial literacy programs and the increasing level of education for women in some countries.
Leadership seminars, courses online, and skills workshops are other key components in continuing education, whatever the field of expertise.
In the past, male accountants had more flexibility to leave their jobs for new opportunities — one way to ensure advancement. As society has moved toward more equal roles for working couples, it’s been easier for women to change jobs and take advantage of the increasing demand for accountants.
Salary transparency is also a current issue among professionals since closely guarded information about pay rates has been one way of perpetuating unequal pay between the sexes.
Retention and Advocacy
One reason the percentage of women in the accounting workforce has grown so robustly is the efforts made to attract women to the field and keep them there.
The bottom line for businesses is always going to be profitability, and an inclusive workplace that values diverse opinions and talents is emerging as a blueprint for success. There are even workshops for men that address their role in helping to model and promote inclusive practices for women in business.
The culture of major business professions has tended to favor a workforce that can put in unlimited hours and make work the main focus in life. Traditionally, this model has benefited men over women since it’s not compatible with raising a family.
Today, people are advocating for more reasonable requirements for both men and women. A healthy balance between work and life has begun to be an important factor for workers, and many firms are adapting.
Networking and Collaboration
One reason that the percentage of women in the profession has accelerated is the emergence of better networking opportunities. In the past, professionals often relied on informal networks that were primarily composed of men.
Intentional efforts to involve women in professional organizations and networks has paid off. As in many other business and industry jobs, there are now organizations entirely devoted to the advancement of women in the accounting field.
It’s not enough to ensure that a certain number of women are represented in available job openings at an accounting firm. Upward mobility and salary parity are vital issues when it comes to true opportunities for women in accounting.
One way to ensure that women are integrated into the corporate culture is collaboration with co-workers. Collaborating with male and female co-workers builds confidence and helps integrate women into the accounting profession.
Today’s Women Accountants
The number of females choosing accounting as a career highlights it as a smart choice for women. Educational opportunities and the demand for accountants are factors in this representation, but it’s the change in society’s outlook and the concrete efforts at recruitment, inclusion, and retention that are paving the way for women to continue to thrive in the accounting field.