The number of women in business continues to grow, now we need more women in top positions.
Current Status of Women in Accounting
The world of business is no longer an extension of the boy’s locker room. In accounting for example, women comprise more than half of the work force. In fact, 63% of all accountants and auditors in the United States are women, according to Catalyst.org. And 52.1% of all bachelor’s degrees and 52.7% of all master’s degrees in accounting are obtained by women.
With such a strong presence in the industry, you’d think they’d have an equal or at least close to, percentage of the leadership positions. Sadly, this couldn’t be further from the truth.
In one survey, women accounted for 47% of the staff at CPA firms while only comprising 22% of the partners and principals. While that is a dismal percentage, the trend is moving upward. For management committees, women made up 17% in 2011. That figure has risen to 23% and looks to keep rising. This should help decrease the gender pay gap that, unfortunately persists in the field of accounting.
Right now, women auditors are earning a weekly median salary of $999 while their male counterparts are bringing home a median salary of $1,236. And while that gap can feel like you’ve just seen someone crash into your beloved Mercedes, you can take heart that at least the starting salaries have become equitable.
The Results of an Increase
The rising percentage of women in accounting is leading to more and more women in leadership positions. The fact that starting salaries have finally become more equitable is one result of this increased presence and influence. But we need more! One of the biggest changes that women in accounting leadership roles bring about is an increase in the overall number of women employed in the industry. In 2011, women of color made up only 2.8% of women graduating with degrees in accounting. In 2014, that number rose to 7.5%.
Diversification of women helps shift the industry away from traditionally male spheres of influence. While we seek to level the scales in the ongoing battle for gender equality, let us not forget that gender differences exist and that if we embrace them in our journey towards equal rights, we increase the value inherent in the overall scheme of things. Different viewpoints offer different insights and lead to innovation within any sphere, especially business. Whenever anything becomes too homogenized, it will cease to be inventive or push any barriers. And that is why we need more women in leadership roles.
Jess Davis is a dominant force in the CPA world, as she’s a veteran test prep guru who is always on the lookout for the latest and greatest exam tips and tricks. Jess wants to make the preparation journey as easy as possible for future test takers with her in-depth CPA Review Course comparison.
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