Gender diversity remains a huge issue, particularly in the finance industry. Organizations continue to put more time and resources into identifying ways to improve the representation of women at all levels.
With a huge concern about the presence of women in senior leadership roles within organizations, the Association of Chartered Certified Accounts (ACCA), set out to identify the obstacles men and women face in finance and accounting.
Women Face Significantly Longer Path to Executive Positions in Finance
The project found women have a much slower path to the top in accounting and finance careers. How much slower? On average, it takes women 7 years longer to reach executive positions.
“Women, overall, did not reach executive positions until seven years after men – the implication being that men’s and women’s careers followed a two-tournament gender system for reaching executive level roles in accounting and finance,” according to the report.
Women Remain Under-represented in Executive Roles
In addition to having a much longer career path, women are also significantly under-represented at the senior level. Only 18% of senior roles in the financial services sector are occupied by women. This is despite the fact that women account for 50% of accounting graduates and 45% of all accounting employees.
Other Key Findings
Here are some of the additional findings from the report:
- Middle management is a key career turning point: Women’s careers begin to slow down once they reach middle management
- Women thrive at the executive level: Once women reach the executive level, their careers accelerate faster than men
- Under-representation: Women often cited lack of confidence and blamed themselves and others for lack of representation
It’s clear there is still work to do in order to improve the representation of women in the finance industry. With the key point being middle management, organizations need to look at how they promote women internally to remove bias and career plateaus for women.
More About Women in the Workplace
Read more about the current state of gender diversity in the workplace by reading these blogs by our finance and accounting recruiters:
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