International Women’s Day – How can you get ahead as a female accountant?

This International Women’s Day we’re turning our attentions to female accountants out there looking to progress their career but lacking in confidence or failing to get noticed in what has traditionally been a male dominated working environment.

If either of these situations sounds like you or your experience then our initial message to you is one of warmth and encouragement. The world of practice is changing and though the gender balance isn’t yet equal, it’s making great strides and if you’re a talented female accountant, there are employers out there who would be proud to have you in their workforce.

Here’s our top tips for ambitious female accountants looking to progress their careers in practice.

1. Try not to focus entirely on output. 

For many accountants, particularly women who are used to juggling lots of different balls in life, it can be tempting to showcase your worth by getting stuck into the bones of accountancy work and showing that you’re capable of some serious productivity. But when it comes to forwarding your career, you need to strike the right balance of being efficient and effective as well as making an impression as more than just a workhorse.

Employers need to see that potential leaders can get through a lot of work as well as offering creative ideas for how to innovate, inspire and thrive. So, make sure you’re breaking for air every now and again and making time to shine.

2. Consider whether you have any limiting beliefs that are holding you back.

Perhaps you’re a working mum and you need flexibility from your employer in order to meet your child caring responsibilities.  Or maybe you’re a more mature member of the workforce. Have you already told yourself that you’re not worthy of exciting and lucrative new opportunities? Or have you told yourself that the reasonable requirements you might need in order to do the job are too much to ask?

In 2022 it’s possible to smash glass ceilings, it really is. But not if you’re the one who installed and maintained them! If you’re experienced, skilled, qualified and a great person to work with, there shouldn’t be any barriers to you progressing in your career and our experience as recruiters is that the sky really is the limit, so make sure you believe that too.

3. Don’t ask, don’t get.

This tip is important. If you’ve been overlooked for promotion too many times, you need to make sure that your appetite for progression is communicated clearly. It’s as simple as asking for a meeting with your boss in which you tell them that you are hungry for the next step and asking them what they think you need to do in order to achieve that goal.

4. Find a cheerleader or two.

It can be hard to sing your own praises. And sometimes even the most confident female accountants need someone in their corner telling the very best firms why they NEED to have these brilliant women on their payroll. And that’s where we come in.

‘At Public Practice Recruitment Ltd we’re playing our part in evening out the gender inequities we see everyday in accountancy. Not only will we confidently sing the praises of women who are doing incredible things in their careers, but we’ll also be keeping a close look out for inequities when it comes to equal pay or rewards. We know what the top men in the industry are being paid and you can bet your bottom dollar that we’ll support our female candidates to attract the same numbers.’

Garry Howling, MD

If you’ve experienced gender bias in your search for your next professional step then we’d definitely recommend reaching out to a trusted recruitment partner. And of course we’re one such partner and would be delighted to offer those in need of some career coaching or just confidential advice, a chat or meeting today.

Just get in touch – oh and here’s to all the women!

May we know them, may we be them, may we raise them and may we employ then!




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