Industry Experts Unveil Shocking Data Exposing Accounting Profession’s Gender Disparity

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Industry Experts Unveil Shocking Data Exposing Accounting Profession’s Gender Disparity

Two of the accounting industry’s most prominent experts have analysed shocking data, which reveals that the profession is systemically holding women back.

Lucy Cohen, CEO of Mazuma Accountants, and Steve Cox, Business Intelligence Director at IRIS Software Group, have spent the last year analysing gender data from multiple sources, and the results make for sombre reading.

Taking a deep dive into the financial metrics of female-led firms, Cohen and Cox have uncovered that a female-led firm is over 95% less likely to achieve a turnover of over £1 million compared to their counterparts. In the UK, it is estimated that only 0.6% of the total accounting firms in the UK who have at least one female director, have achieved over £1 million in turnover, and even more astonishing, just 43 entirely female-founded or female-managed firms have reached this milestone across the UK.

This stark discrepancy not only highlights the economic barriers women face in professional services, but also raises serious concerns about the equality of opportunity within the industry. The findings suggest that systemic issues, including restricted access to training, critical business networks, and funding opportunities, as well as unconscious bias and gender-based discrimination, are contributing factors that impede the growth of accountancy businesses led by women.

“These findings are a wake-up call for the industry and beyond,” says Cox. “It’s clear that despite the progress we’ve made towards gender equality, significant obstacles remain that prevent talented female entrepreneurs from achieving the same financial success as their male peers.”

In response to these troubling statistics, Lucy Cohen and Steve Cox call for immediate action from industry stakeholders, including policy adjustments, enhanced support mechanisms for female entrepreneurs, and increased accountability measures in order to assess progress. They are also calling for all accounting bodies to assess their policies to ensure that they do not inadvertently prevent women from gaining access to qualifications.

“We must address these disparities head-on by implementing targeted strategies that support women-led firms and by promoting an inclusive culture that values diverse leadership,” added Cohen.

She continues, “I’ve spent almost 18 years running a firm in this space, and a lot of time and energy in breaking down barriers. But I can’t do it alone – this is a call to action for all across the profession.”

Cohen and Cox will fully present their findings exclusively at Accountex in the Excel London on 15th May at 5pm.