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Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Industry Analysis Exposes Significant Gender Disparity in Accounting

Lucy Cohen, CEO of Mazuma Accountants, and Steve Cox, Business Intelligence Director at IRIS Software Group, have spent the past year meticulously analysing gender-related data in the accounting profession. Their findings reveal a significant systemic issue that impedes the progress of women in the field.

Their research into the financial achievements of firms led by women found that such firms are overwhelmingly less likely to generate turnovers of over £1 million. Indeed, only 0.6% of UK accounting firms with female directors have achieved this turnover milestone, and shockingly, just 43 firms founded or managed by women have done so across the entire country.

This stark gap highlights not only the financial hurdles that women face in professional services but also points to a broader issue of unequal opportunities within the industry. According to the research, a mix of limited access to key resources such as training and business networks, along with systemic unconscious bias and discrimination, are significant barriers.

“These findings are a wake-up out for the industry and beyond,” noted Steve Cox. He underscored the critical need for systemic changes to foster gender equality within the sector.

Responding to the disturbing statistics, Cohen and Cox are calling for decisive action from industry stakeholders. They recommend adjustments in policies, improved support for female entrepreneurs, and better measures for monitoring progress. Additionally, they suggest that accounting organizations review their qualification accessibility policies.

“We must address these disparities head-on by implementing targeted strategies that support women-led firms and by promoting an inclusive culture that values diverse leadership,” Lucy Cohen elaborated. She also shared her personal challenges and determination: “I’ve spent almost 18 years running a firm in this space, and a lot of time and energy in breaking down barriers. But I can’t do it alone – this is a call to action for all across the profession.”

The full presentation of their research will be held at Accountex at Excel London on 15th May at 5pm.


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