The ICAEW is committed to supporting the advancement of women within the accountancy profession, working across all sectors.
Within the context of advancing the roles of women within the profession, the ICAEW recognised from research carried out in focus groups with both employers and individuals the desire to move away from needing to “fix women” and instead to focus on the identification and unlocking of strengths and the best application of them within organisations. This has resulted in the ICAEW’s Women in Leadership design being very orientated around playing to strengths.
Our research and insight also told us that not understanding the culture and language used in an organisation, for many has been a barrier to career progression, this being applicable to both men and women.
Our response has been to spend time on the career development programmes looking at the different political behaviours within organisations and how best to respond to them and thrive within them. The increasingly international environments in which we all operate also require greater sensitivity and education to the way different cultures relate to each other, and also as to the how the role of women is regarded within different cultures.
The themes of executive impact and influence continue to be a challenge, and an opportunity, not least due to the growing need for virtual team structures against a backdrop of globalisation and the advent and benefits of new technologies, accelerating at a fast rate.
Our work spans all stages of a member’s career starting off with our annual Women in Accountancy event which gives undergraduates the opportunity to learn more about the benefits of embarking on an accountancy career.
The ICAEW’s Back to the Workplace programme provides a series of events and networking forums to help people with their return to work, whether from a career break, unemployment or redundancy. These events have been particularly popular with our female members.
The Women in Finance network, run by the Faculty of Finance and Management, provides quarterly events to create knowledge sharing and networking event.
The ICAEW’s Women in Leadership programme is an 8 month course, with activities taking place monthly, designed to support the transition of women to more senior leadership or board roles working across all sectors. Enrolment for April and October cohorts is now underway. For more information please contact Rhonda.Martin@icaew.com or see www.icaew.com/leadership.
The Women on Boards programme provides a series of events creating the forum to hear the experiences of successful board directors and trustees, to discuss their challenges and learnings and to explore the different routes to boards.
Rhonda Martin is senior talent development manager at ICAEW. Email her for more information on these events or to register at Rhonda.Martin@icaew.com