What are the greatest challenges of women in accounting?
I have taken interest to major in accounting. I hear many things on how women are discriminated against in certain career fields and majors. For example, not many engineers are women, or doctors should be men. Both of which statements that I disagree with. That leads me to ask about how are women perceived in business, specifically accounting and what challenges (if any) do most women face.
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As a woman working in accounting, personally I have not experienced any discrimination. My firm, PricewaterhouseCoopers, has various initiatives to try to ensure women are treated fairly and given opportunities. I feel supported by the firm and I do not think my being a woman has adversely influenced my career. However, I cannot speak for others' experiences.
To try to prevent this issue, PwC has mandatory blind spot training that recognizes that people's blind spots (about women, or other diverse groups, etc.) could have negative impacts on others. PwC also has an Ethics Hotline where harassment can be reported.
All in all, I do not think accounting is one of those fields with a hard to overcome systemic problem, but in truth every industry faces this challenge in varying degrees.
That is a really good question. I am a woman working in the accounting field and so far have not felt any discrimination towards women in the workplace. I know a lot of accounting firms have trainings and initiatives to help prevent discrimination against women and other groups in the workplace. Like Rachel mentioned, PwC has blindspots training, ethics hotlines, and even a Women's Inclusion Network where forums and events are held for both men and women.
From experience, there are a lot of women in accounting. The group of people I started working with at PwC are 2/3 women. There are also a lot of managers and senior managers that are women. The firm is highly supportive of maternity leave and flexible schedules for working mothers.
I feel like there are a lot of opportunities for women in accounting. I have seen a lot of women make it high up in accounting firms.
I hope this is helpful!
Dear Victoria G.
I am glad that you are asking these questions.
I do not have a background in accounting, yet I am a woman, thus can help shed light on the issues of women, in the professional world.
We live in a world where culture has a great influence everywhere, also at work.
Culture comes from people's mindsets and this is where issues start, all sorts of issues.
Not all, but some men, might have different attitudes about women at work.
Some are open to it, appreciate that we bring our own strengths, like and accept that we are competent professionals, capable of doing the job well, just like any other person, men or women.
Remember we obtain the same training as any, so in finance this is no different.
Some people, some men and some places discriminate, but not all.
And nowadays that the problem has been clearly identified, no one is staying silent about it.
What is more important is that you feel strong and confident, as a young woman and as a professional.
Some professions were said to be only for men, until one girl said: "Hey, I'd like to do that too..!" Or said things like: "I do not want to be a housewife and stay at home and cook, I want to work.."
So today, unlike in the early 1900's where women were thought that they should only stay at home, is no more.
Times have changed, and they will continue to change by the time you graduate. And as times change, so will mindsets
What you must do, is be firm about what you want to be, as an accountant.
Be competent, be professional, know your stuff, and do your job well and you will be respected as woman and as a professional.
Do not give your attention, or your worries, and never tears, for men, who have been left behind by the times.
Women today are everything they want to be, and do not care about what some men believe.
To tell you the truth, the worst thing some, men do is try to make sexual innuendos to women.
If any ever insults you in any form or tries to make you feel undeserving, or makes crude sexual comments,
that is their problem not yours.
Do not stay silent and go to the boss and let everyone know.
Everything else is not a problem as long as you know how to do the job.
Let me know if this helps OK.
if you have any other questions, just ask us, we are always here for you.
Great question! The business world can seem to be male dominated at times but that should not be discouraging at all. I'm actually very fortunate to be in a group at PwC that is mainly comprised of women and I have worked for some of best female partners out there. However, there are plenty of times that I go to a meeting at a client and am surrounded by all males at the table. And if anything, that is empowering to me! As a female in the business world, we can do anything a male does equally, if not better. I think the key is to remember how great you are and know that nothing can stop you. There will be plenty of times that the room of males will be intimidating but what better way to stand out than being the strong female in the room?
My advice to you is to try to align yourself with other strong females early in your career that you can speak to openly and learn from. Many of my role models at work are females and I consider myself very lucky to be in their circle. Also remember that you're unstoppable and you should not be intimidated by any situation! I hope this helps!
Hi Victoria! I am glad you are considering joining many smart and dedicated women in the business of accounting. I would say that for me as a woman working for a Big 4 accounting firm, the biggest challenge is time management and finding a balance between work and family, especially because I have a daughter. However, I say this while being mindful of the fact that men also have families and that people who do not have children also have families, interests, friends and things to do outside of work that mean the world to them . So women are not alone in facing this challenge. I think we just face it in a more powerful way because many people expect us to be taking care of children and because we expect it of ourselves, too. Another aspect of this challenge is also taking care of elderly parents, which is often a task for women as well. I would say that the best way to face these challenges is to be open and honest with your teammates and to communicate clearly and in advance that you have certain commitments and responsibilities. Being devoted to your family does not mean that you cannot be a productive and important team member.
As many of these previous answers have mentioned, my Big4 Firm has many programs for women and encourages inclusion in the workplace. For example, PwC has a Women's Inclusion Network which hosts leadership and networking events for women. Our local office leadership event provided a forum for men and women to discuss gender bias and women in the workplace. I would encourage you to get involved or start an initiative within your Company. Also, it is important to be confident in the skills and knowledge that you bring to the job. Hope that helps provide encouragement!