Exploring the increase of women in Accountancy
In today’s evolving and diverse world, the concept of an all-female team has gained significant attention and momentum. The number of women in senior management roles grew globally to 32% in 2022, however despite considerable progress, women are still found to be underrepresented in leadership positions. Whilst there is no guarantee that all businesses will see an even distribution when it comes to gender, diversity should be a priority for businesses. Today, we will explore advances for females in accountancy, and the value of communication and teamwork in the workplace.
Inspiring the next generation
According to the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), women account for approximately 46% of all accountants and auditors in the UK. Despite this progress, there is still work to be done to address underrepresentation of women in leadership roles across accounting firms worldwide. At present, only 1/5 of senior roles are occupied by women. However, with more women pursuing accountancy positions, younger generations may be more likely to apply for a job in an otherwise previously male-dominated industry if they feel they have value and representation.
Statistically women in the workplace have been found to shape more effective communication and collaboration. This may be because women are more inclusive in their approach to work and conversation, rather than taking on tasks and operating alone. Soft skills and emotional intelligence may be a competitive advantage for women in business. According to a survey by the international consulting firm Hay Group published in 2016, women surpass males in 11 of 12 major emotional intelligence characteristics. These include emotional self-awareness, empathy, conflict management, flexibility, and teamwork—all essential skills to becoming a good leader at work. Whilst these attributes are not solely applicable to women; there is great potential for these skills to be shared amongst a team, having been identified as valuable.
Working alongside a dedicated team can inspire innovative ideas and boost overall productivity in the workplace. Effective teamwork has been linked to reduced burnout and improved morale. This suggests the importance of working with a group that you feel an affinity with, to foster a positive work environment.
Women as the face of STEM subjects
Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) are subjects that are predominantly studied by men. There is no scientifically valid way to ascertain why this could be, however researchers have theorised that it may be to do with stereotypes and belief systems in schools about the gender of subjects. At present, there is a noticeable difference between the number of females and males in STEM education. After GCSEs, only 35% of females choose to study STEM subjects, with this decreasing to 25% of females choosing to study them at university. It is important that gender-bias views on STEM subjects are eradicated from educational institutions, to prevent women from avoiding professions that they could excel in. Accountancy is a STEM subject due to its mathematical basis and links to the finance world. Having more influential women at the top of the industry is helping to encourage women to pursue a career in accountancy and Francesca and Charlotte like to share their journey on how they became directors of their own accountancy firm to contribute to this.
As a team at Future Cloud, we did not intend to have an all-female workforce but perhaps it shows that attitudes towards women in accountancy are changing! There is no telling where the future will take us in terms of expanding our team, but we hope to see further progress for communication and collaboration in the workplace, regardless of gender. We also hope to demonstrate that accountancy is an industry that women can continue to succeed and thrive in!
Galleta-Williams, H., Esmail, A., Grigoroglou, C., Zghebi, S.S., Zhou, A.Y., Hodkinson, A. and Panagioti, M., 2020. The importance of teamwork climate for preventing burnout in UK general practices. European journal of public health, 30(Supplement_4), pp.iv36-iv38.
Huang, J., Krivkovich, A., Starikova, I., Yee, L. and Zanoschi, D., 2019. Women in the Workplace 2019. San Francisco: Retrieved from McKinsey & Co. website: https://www. mckinsey. com/featured-insights/genderequality/women-in-the-workplace.