As accounting businesses and firms prepare for the future, many of them are realizing that empowering women is of great importance for helping their firm forge the way of doing business.
However, the fact that women are becoming very successful in the field of accounting and reshaping the norms is not highlighted enough.
Women play a crucial role in building a dynamic and diverse workplace. However, despite all of the amazing changes they bring in the environment and all the work they have already accomplished, the organization often fail to recognize their achievements.
Here are some of the facts to be considered:
- According to Entrepreneur, companies usually tend to lose 17 percent of their women employees in the middle of their career.
- According to AICPA, over 50 percent of the new graduates in the accounting profession are women.
- According to another report from AICPA, programs like work from home, mentoring, and flexible schedules can help in retaining female employees.
We have definitely made some progress as far as the women in the workplace are concerned. However, they still constitute about 22% of employees in CPA firms. It is clear that there is a lot of work to be done in this situation.
While supporting women and cultivating an environment that includes the thoughts of your female staff is an endeavor that should be followed year-round, it is never too late to start.
Here are some points which can help you plan and execute ways to empower women in accounting firms:
1. Define What You Want
The very first step is to roll out or define a plan that has a definitive purpose. Define the objective that you want to achieve. You can create a program sponsored by your accounting firm to bring all the women employees together or give them opportunities to grow personally as well as professionally.
Defining a goal will help you serve better and plan accordingly.
2. Involve Everyone
It is essential that any type of decision-making event should be inclusive of all the employees, regardless of gender.
Also, there should be no hesitation in sending out personal emails to female employees regarding upcoming events of a program to encourage them to attend and participate. It is always essential to have the leadership team get involved in all the efforts the firm makes to promote women and offer acceptance firm-wide.
3. Provide Educational Opportunities
Stimulating a change and helping women climb the ladder involves offering experiences and solutions in order to assist and empower them. Host educational programs or events to provide female employees with the resources and tools they need in order to succeed.
For example, you can offer to put together seminars on topics related to the successful women in the country or worldwide, the art of saying no, personal branding, or something similar. Keep asking the women in your accounting firm about the pain points or struggles that they face professionally and find out how you can help them overcome those struggles.
Introduce the women of your firm to opportunities that can better their skills or help them to explore new areas of function. This will inspire them to find and take on new leadership roles in the future. Also, this would demonstrate how committed you are in the continued success of the women in your firm.
4. Facilitate Networking
In the progressive world, apart from what you know, whom you know is also considered as an essential factor. Have you ever thought about the networking opportunities provided to women?
Host events where women can network with different professionals, send female employees to work-related industry events, and encourage more and more female representatives to speak out and show their leadership skills.
5. Representation Starts From The Top
The best way to make a woman feel empowered is to actually empower her. Whether it is a C-level employee or a team lead of a small department, putting the women in the leadership roles can have a massive effect in encouraging them, which in turn, helps the firm positively.
Initiatives like handing over important projects to women send a signal that their firm cares about them and their inputs. Hence, putting women in leadership positions speaks for itself.
6. Promote Important Causes
If you think that empowering women is essential, implement your thoughts in their favor. Do not hesitate in supporting events like charities that are of value to them.
Some of the events that you can organize include awareness for breast cancer, volunteer work at women shelters, or discussions about women rights. Events like these also help in creating bonding among team members.
7. Improve Daily Experience
It is very important that you do not overlook the everyday experience of women employees in your workplace. Analyze the policies of your firm around bias, discrimination, harassment, and take appropriate actions against the offender.
This lets the women know that their workplace is a supportive environment that values them, and they can channel all their energy on their work. You can also lift the burden by allowing arrangements like work from home, providing them the right technology such as cloud accounting or working outside the business hours.
Work flexibility helps in achieving peace of mind and also makes sure that all the responsibilities are taken care of.
To Wrap It Up
Firms that support gender diversity are considered to be 15% more profitable. However, in order to get all those profits, what you need to do is create a women-friendly environment and put women in a position where they can succeed.
It is not necessary that change would happen overnight. However, consistency is the way to go. While it may seem difficult, start with — one opportunity, one help, one woman. Remember to appreciate the successes of all the women in your accounting firm loud and clear.
Show them that you value them.
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