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Illinois CPA Society Annual Survey on Women in Accounting: Underrepresentation Continues at the Highest Ranks

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2008-05-18 05:28:36     
Illinois CPA Society

The sixth annual Illinois CPA Society Women's Executive Committee survey on Women in Accounting indicates there's still work to be done in getting women CPAs to the highest ranks of their firms.

Findings of the survey, released at the Society's Women's Leadership Breakfast on May 16, show the number of men continues to far outweigh the number of women in partner/principal positions, with men holding 82.8 percent of these leadership positions compared to 17.2 percent held by women.

However, there are small signs of improvement. The number of women in firm-wide leadership roles, firm or office managing partners and executive management, rose to 17 percent after remaining in the 10 to 13 percent range for the past five years.

"The next generation of leaders will come from the ranks of recent accounting graduates in which women outnumber men," said Elaine Weiss, president and CEO of the Illinois CPA Society. "What the findings say is that more widespread implementation of programs for women is needed if the profession wants to improve these numbers and prepare for the future."

The survey, which is distributed to 84 public accounting firms in Illinois with 15 or more professionals, tracks the percentage of women at different levels of the organization -- partner/principal, senior manager/manager, and senior staff. It also gauges the effectiveness of initiatives and programs targeted to women with findings based on responses from individual women and the firms.

Flexible work arrangements, mentoring programs, family leave policies and paid time off were ranked as the most effective initiatives. Other initiatives -- child-care assistance, women-specific mentoring programs, programs to develop women as partners on high-profile clients, and part-time partner track -- were only in place at 27 to 33 percent of the firms surveyed. Part-time partner track continues to be the most sought-after initiative among the women surveyed.

Copies of the complete survey results are available by contacting Judi Kulm at 312-993-0407, extension 251 or kulmj@icpas.org.

About the Illinois CPA Society

The Illinois CPA Society, founded in 1903, is the fifth largest state CPA society in the nation, with approximately 24,000 members. It is the premier professional organization that represents CPAs in Illinois. During its over 100 years of existence, the Society has advanced the highest ethical and financial standards of the profession, and has been a leader in educating the public on financial issues.

Specialized in: Illinois Cpa Society - Underrepresentation - Highest Ranks
URL: http://www.icpas.org
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