A career in finance and accounting is a good choice for aspiring female CEOs, according to new research from leading specialist recruitment consultancy Robert Half UK.
Almost two thirds (64 per cent) of UK finance directors believe that there are more opportunities for women to move up the ranks in finance and accounting roles than 10 years ago, while 87 per cent think women have a better chance of securing executive board positions as a result of those opportunities and 81 per cent believe they have a better chance of moving into a chief executive role.
Phil Sheridan, Managing Director of Robert Half UK, commented: “Creating a diverse talent pool should be at the top of the agenda for businesses, alongside attracting and retaining skilled professionals. Providing more career opportunities for women within finance will see a stronger talent network for business to draw upon. This will not only improve prospects for women, but for the economy as a whole.
“Candidates with a strong background in finance are highly-valued as these professionals can drive business objectives with a strong understanding of the financial implications, and are therefore often candidates for the role of CEO. Talented accounting and finance professionals who are able to translate actionable insight from the numbers are more likely to accelerate their career projection.”
A report by the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) found that the total proportion of female members and students in the accountancy profession remained broadly constant between 2010 and 2014 at around 50 per cent.
However, the percentage of female qualified members is 36 per cent, suggesting that while equal numbers of men and women start a career in finance and accounting, more men maintain a longer-term tenure in the profession. The percentage of women in the accountancy profession is growing slowly, moving from 34 per cent in 2010 to 36 per cent in 2014.
Female finance chiefs are more positive than male finance directors about the opportunities for women to progress. More than two thirds (67 per cent) of female finance directors believe there are better opportunities than 10 years ago, compared to 61 per cent of men.