Firms are taking proactive steps to attract, retain and advance women, according to the AICPA's 2019 CPA Firm Gender Survey. And firms that use modified work arrangements and formal advancement programs to achieve those goals report that the benefits are clear.
Leadership roles focused on issues such as innovation, diversity and sustainability present opportunities for more women to make their way into the C-suite. While such opportunities are valuable, companies should note that these emerging roles might not propel women to the CEO ranks if they are not consistently linked to profit and loss responsibilities.
Research has linked diversity with business performance, and firms can improve their outcomes in this area by focusing on their hiring practices, writes Florence Holland of AICPA. It's also important to assess your current diversity efforts and be willing to have difficult conversations.
Some progress has been made, but firms need to step up their efforts to diversify the accounting profession. Profitability and innovation improve alongside racial and gender diversity, and building an inclusive workforce is key for retaining and empowering employees.
Several companies have had success with efforts to promote neurodiversity, but many people with autism continue to be unemployed or underemployed. This article reviews lessons learned from neurodiversity programs and legal considerations with regard to the Americans with Disabilities Act.
A lack of flexibility can make it more difficult for firms to retain high-performing female talent. Companies can address the issue by taking five steps, including comparing leave policies with those of other firms, celebrating success stories and taking an annual survey of the employee experience.
Large accounting firms in the UK are improving gender diversity in the top ranks of company leadership more quickly than other types of businesses. Among the FTSE 100 as a whole, the percentage of female directors has reached 33%, a report found.
Large UK businesses might miss diversity targets, with a report finding that more than one-third of companies in the FTSE 100 still lack ethnic minority representation on their boards. The report offers several suggestions for improvement, stressing the need for companies to report on diversity policies and prioritize recruitment and development.
Rather than asking women to change themselves, organizations must evolve to ensure that everyone has an equal opportunity for advancement. Leaders must become aware of inequality, reflect on their own behaviors and work to remove barriers that inhibit gender or racial diversity.
My organization is having a "Day of Understanding" in February in conjunction with the CEO Action Initiative.
AICPA Diversity & Inclusion News
Register for the Accounting Profession Diversity Symposium
The 2020 AICPA Accounting Profession Diversity Symposium will occur May 13-14 in New Orleans at Le Meridien Hotel. The symposium brings together accounting firms, state societies, colleges and universities, and other organizations to help the profession sustain a pipeline of diverse talent. Find out more and register.
CALL FOR SPONSORS: Interested in underwriting events and conference items? E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for sponsorship information.
Join us for a webcast: Coaching: How and Why
Just imagine what's possible for your organization when you unlock the latent potential of your people and inspire them to reach new heights! During this one-hour webcast on March 24 at 2 p.m. ET, you will learn from Sarah Elliott, CPA, PCC, and Brian Kreisher, CPA, why coaching is such a powerful tool and explore how to create a true coaching culture, resulting in new possibilities for your organization, the people in it and everyone you serve. Register here.
Nominations open: 2020 Most Powerful Women in Accounting
Nominate by March 30! The AICPA and CPA Practice Advisor magazine are looking for outstanding women who are making an impact in the tax and accounting profession. The winners will be selected by an independent panel of judges and will be recognized publicly at the AICPA ENGAGE Conference in June and also in the June 2020 issue of CPA Practice Advisor magazine.
PCPS George Willie Ethnically Diverse Student Scholarship & Internship
Do you know ethnically diverse students pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree in an accounting or an accounting-related major who plan to pursue the CPA licensure? PCPS is awarding an internship and up to $20,000 of financial assistance per student to help with tuition for the academic year. Applications are due by April 15! Learn more.
American Institute of CPAs
(AICPA) is the world’s largest member association representing the CPA profession, with more than 418,000 members in 143 countries, and a history of serving the public interest since 1887. AICPA members represent many areas of practice, including business and industry, public practice, government, education and consulting. The AICPA sets ethical standards for the profession and U.S. auditing standards for private companies, not-for-profit organizations, federal, state and local governments. It develops and grades the Uniform CPA Examination and offers credentials for a number of specialized areas. With The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), it offers the Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA) designation, which sets the global benchmark for quality and recognition in management accounting.
About the AICPA National Commission on Diversity and Inclusion
The AICPA National Commission on Diversity and Inclusion was formed to serve as champions within the accounting profession and to work toward
proposing strategies to recruit, retain, and advance minorities in the profession. The National Commission on Diversity and Inclusion
has set a new course to address best practices and develop tools to help members and firms succeed in their diversity and inclusion efforts.