Posts Tagged ‘females’

Monday, January 25th, 2016

Women In Accounting – Don’t Feel Guilty

IMG_4100CPA firms lose so many bright, savvy females because of the long-talked about stigma that when you want to start a family, you cannot work in public accounting.

Too many young female professionals tend to heed the old-fashioned advice that they should work in public accounting for a few years, get their CPA designation and then get a job in a private company so they can then raise a family. Fewer actually become “stay at home” moms because the millennials need two incomes to live the life style they desire.

So, I urge all young women in accounting, stick it out. The accounting profession is becoming more and more flexible all the time. It is a profession that can provide the career development and prestige that you desire.

Don’t feel guilty if you are working and also raising children. Children of working moms actually reap many benefits because they have working mothers.

According to a survey of 1,000 grown children of working mothers, many substantial benefits were identified

Strong Work Ethic – The grown children reported that watching their mothers go to work every day instilled in them a strong work ethic.

Independence – Working mothers know they won’t be there for everything so they have deliberately taught their children to be more independent.

Resilience – The children of working mothers reported being able to solve their own problems and bounce back from tough times better than children of stay-at-home mothers.

Prepared For The Work World – Watching their mothers face the many challenges at work helped the children feel better prepared for the working world. They have a better sense of what to expect when they enter the work world.

Daughters Benefit Most – Harvard found that daughters of working mothers earned 23% more than daughters of stay-at-home mothers.

All of this and more is in an article on FAST Company by Lisa Evans. She also references a book by Pamela LenehanMy Mother, My Mentor: What Grown Children of Working Mothers Want You to Know. 

Many female CPAs working in public accounting have told me, “The partners just don’t understand because their wives don’t work.”

By the way, my mother was a working mother. So was I.

  • Sweater, n.: garment worn by child when its mother is feeling chilly.
  • Ambrose Bierce

Thursday, July 18th, 2013

Best Accounting Firm For Women

I have written about the Accounting MOVE Project several times on this blog. The 2013 Accounting MOVE report was released recently. You can access it here.

I recently read in the news that Plante Moran’s internal policies and practices have helped the firm be recognized as a Best Public Accounting Firm for Women in 2013 by the Accounting MOVE Project.

The Project examines the reasons behind why many women CPAs leave the accounting industry for careers in other fields and what firms care doing to change the prevailing trend – and the findings likely go beyond the accounting profession.

You can read all about why Plante Moran was selected here.

The top four barriers to advancement for women in accounting firms:

  • Work-Life issues
  • Lack of female role models
  • Subtle cultural factors discourage women
  • The need for an earlier emphasis on business development 

Please take the time this summer and fall to assess the need to retain women leaders inside your own firm and explore steps you take to keep qualified females in the accounting profession.

The future of CPA firms is in the hands of younger, talented CPAs and in the accounting profession the majority of those younger, talented CPAs are females.

  • Do one thing every day that scares you.
  • Eleanor Roosevelt

Wednesday, May 9th, 2012

Helping Women to Compete

Yesterday was a special day for me. I had the honor to speak at the first ever Tennessee Society Women’s Career Summit. The room was filled with females who want to make a difference – for themselves, for their employers and for the people they supervise.

I also had the great honor of hearing Joan Cronan, the Women’s Athletic Director at the  University of Tennessee for the last 29 years, do an opening keynote presentation that was truly motivating and moving.

When she was 12 years old, she was told by the little league coach that she could not play because she was a girl. She could be bat girl, water girl, team manager but she could not compete on the field.

That story set the tone for her life. She relates, “It made me so mad! Since that day I have had a vision the I wanted to help women learn to compete.”

In the world of public accounting, that is what I want to stress for the many females who are still facing challenges. You must learn to compete. It comes through passion, hard work, and developing self-confidence.

Here are 3 tips from Ms. Cronan:

Competition:  Be willing to face your competition, you must compete. It doesn’t have to be basketball or tennis. It can be tap dance, cheerleading, speaking or getting promoted. Set goals for yourself. I thank my competitors, because my friends won’t always tell me my weaknesses but my competitors will. If I had no competition, I might become lazy. Competition makes us all better.

Mentor/Coach:  You need one or more than one. Find good ones and listen. Ask them to help you develop confidence – your must get it and use it!

Communication: Her pet peeve is people who do not say thank-you. How hard is it to say those simple two words that carry so much weight. Show your appreciation by communicating. Also, always be direct in your communication. If you are supervising others, it is your responsibility to tell them their weaknesses and help them get better.

Picture above: Joan Cronan, is that you with Rita?

  • You have to start your own engine.
  • Joan Cronan

Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

CPA Profession Bail-Out Season – Don’t Lose Your Top Talent

The April due date has arrived and passed. Are your team members completely burnt-out? Will they almost immediately be thinking, it’s time to move on?

Already in 2012, I have heard about firms losing people. I continue to hear about and read about the brain-drain in public accounting when it comes to females. What are you, as a leader in your firm, going to do about it?

Maybe this year you should consider embracing a career lattice culture rather than a career ladder culture. Not everyone achieves success in the same way. Often there are may detours along the way.

Research has shown that public accounting loses a lot of good people (and many females) when they believe public accounting will not accommodate their personal and career choices. Women want to start a family so they think they must leave public accounting. Don’t let your young talent make this assumption. Most successful firms have already embraced flexibility as a formal part of their culture.

I urge you to paint a picture for your young professionals of a career lattice. Communicate to them: If there comes a times in your life whether you are male or female, when you need or want less (or more), a reduced schedule, more regular hours, less travel, more travel, less responsibility or really want to accelerate your advancement in the firm – talk to us!

Learn more about the career lattice approach from my blog post titled, What Is Your Team Members’ Definition Of Up? I posted it a couple of years ago but it definitely still applies this year.


  • A man has made at least a start on discovering the meaning of human life when he plants shade trees under which he knows full well he will never sit.
  • Dr. Elton Trueblood