Startling Data Highlights Gender Gap in Accounting Industry

In a revealing study, two leading figures in the accounting industry, Lucy Cohen, CEO of Mazuma Accountants, and Steve Cox, Business Intelligence Director at IRIS Software Group, have analysed comprehensive gender data over the past year, uncovering systemic biases that disadvantage women.

Their analysis focused on the financial performance of female-led firms, revealing a concerning statistic: firms led by women are 95% less likely to achieve a turnover exceeding £1 million. In the UK, a mere 0.6% of accounting firms with at least one female director surpass this turnover mark, with only 43 firms that are entirely female-founded or managed reaching this level nationwide.

This significant disparity not only underscores the economic challenges faced by women in professional services but also signals a broader issue of equality of opportunity within the sector. The data suggests that obstacles such as limited access to essential training, business networks, funding opportunities, and prevalent unconscious bias and gender discrimination are major hindrances.

“These findings are a wake-up call for the industry and beyond,” Steve Cox commented. He stressed the urgent need to address these barriers to enable female entrepreneurs to succeed on equal footing with male counterparts.

In light of these findings, Cohen and Cox are advocating for immediate actions from industry stakeholders. They suggest policy reforms, better support systems for female entrepreneurs, and enhanced accountability measures to track improvements. They also urge accounting bodies to re-evaluate their policies to ensure they are inclusive and equitable.

“We must address these disparities head-on by implementing targeted strategies that support women-led firms and by promoting an inclusive culture that values diverse leadership,” Lucy Cohen stated. She also emphasized her personal commitment to the cause, “I’ve spent almost 18 years running a firm in this space, and a lot of time and energy in breaking down barriers. But I can’t do it alone – this is a call to action for all across the profession.”

Cohen and Cox are scheduled to present their complete findings at Accountex in the Excel London on 15th May at 5pm.

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