October 30 ,2016 | by Claire Payne

Shortage of women in senior accountancy roles, study finds

Shortage of women in senior accountancy roles

Over 60 per cent of accountancy firms do not have any women in senior roles, according to a study by Visible Women.

The Women in Finance: Not Adding Up! report showed a shortage of women in senior roles such as executive board members, partners and senior accountants in two-thirds of companies.


The report looked at the top 1,000 accounting and finance firms and found that out of the 4,771 executive board members, partners and senior accountants identified in the firms, just 903 are female, with just 73 being from black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds.

Just 4 per cent of firms had between 96 per cent and 100 per cent female representation, whilst 98 per cent of the accounting firms reviewed in the study were found to have five or fewer female board members and partners.

The report also looked at the number of females studying accountancy and found that almost half of students enrolling in professional accounting courses in the UK in 2015 were female.

The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) was found to have a high number of female enrolments in 2015 at 61 per cent, followed by the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) at 54 per cent.


Commenting on the report, Elevation Networks CEO, Barbara Kasumu, said that too few women are making it to the top of the accounting profession, despite almost half of students enrolling with professional UK accounting courses being female.

“Accounting firms need to be more intentional with initiatives designed to support women as they progress through the ranks. The profession needs to borrow best practice from other industries as a matter of urgency. The current rate of progress is too slow,” she said. 

Claire Payne

Claire Payne is a journalism graduate and News Writer for LSBF. She writes about SMEs, education and careers, entrepreneurship, women in business, and sustainability.

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