By Lyndsey Hall
The vast majority of female accountants feel that their employers are supportive of women, a study by career coaching providers Talking Talent has shown. A further 80% feel that their employer is supportive of them, specifically, and 71% of working mothers agreed.
The next highest ranking profession was law, followed by financial services, with 85% and 84% respectively. However, only 76% of women working in government felt supported by their employer, and only 74% of women working in the engineering, manufacturing and construction sector agreed.
In contrast, a huge 43% of female accountants have experienced prejudice and discrimination in the work place, with 44% believing that their gender has, or will, hinder their career.
The study, which was conducted among over a thousand professional women and working mothers in April 2014, has revealed that the accounting industry, among others, still has a long way to go to eradicate discrimination between the sexes, despite the encouraging figures of women feeling supported by their employer.
A report issued the same month by PwC and Opportunity found that 64% of women asked had been harassed at work, with a further 12% experiencing harassment of a sexual nature. The report also revealed that 29% of female millennials – those born after 1980 – believe employers favour men when choosing candidates for promotion.
The FTSE 100 is working to improve gender issues, and is currently on target to achieve 25% female board members across its businesses in 2015. Glencore is currently the only company with 100% male board members, however they have vowed to address this by the end of 2014.
Chris Parke, CEO of Talking Talent, has said that employers, particularly in these industries, need to do more to “ensure strategies to support women are being properly accepted and implemented. If employers fail to stamp this out [they] will miss out on a huge section of their top talent – something they can ill-afford to do in today’s competitive economy.”
Here at Knowles Warwick we value a diverse and varied workforce, we believe that it makes for a more inclusive environment and allows us to tap into a wealth of knowledge and experiences.
Have you been a victim, or a witness, to the gender divide in the accounting industry? Tell us your thoughts on the matter in the Comments.
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