Women still represent only 22% of corporate leaders globally, and a further 33% of firms worldwide have no women in senior management at all, according to Helen Brand, CEO of ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants)
ACCA, the leading body globally for chartered accountants, uncovered inequality in the working trends of young women in finance careers in an 18,000-strong global survey, ‘Generation Next’.
It found that women are more likely to pursue a long-term career in finance and accounting, with 47% of respondents preferring to stay in the career for more than 5 years compared to 40% of men.
In addition, women are more likely than men to stay with their current employers in their next role, 42% compared to 37% for men.
By contrast, the survey found that men were more likely to pursue entrepreneurial ambitions, with 84% signalling a desire to start their own business, either as a next career move or later in their careers. The figure for women was 74%.
“For the inequality these statistics show to become a thing of the past, organisations must build supportive environments and work to eliminate conscious and unconscious bias right across the corporate structure”, Brand said.
At present, ACCA has 480,000 students around the world studying hard to become professional accountants. 54% of them are female, a percentage that is growing year-on-year. Almost a quarter of a million women are working towards a professional qualification.
Closing the gender gap
Brand has some advice for closing the gender gap.
One, find a role model. Having one can help you see where the breadth and depth of female talent is in the organisation and spur you on.