This year International Women’s Day continues to celebrate women’s achievements while calling for greater equality. The theme for 2020 is #EachforEqual with the aim to collectively work together to challenge stereotypes, fight bias, broaden perceptions, improve situations and celebrate women’s achievements.
2020 is an exciting year for Bryden Johnson as Director, Jackie Wilding will be celebrating 40 years at Bryden Johnson.
“Over the 40 years I’ve worked in the profession things have changed considerably and continue to move in the right direction. As well as more women entering the profession the numbers of women starting their own businesses continue to grow.
“When I began my career there were certainly more male trainee accountants and all the Partners at Bryden Johnson were male, and always had been. Occasionally I faced discrimination with some businesses who would speak to the male junior staff over me – assuming that they were in charge! And in my early experiences at work, all the companies I worked with were run by men.
“I’m pleased to be able to say that although it may have taken a while to introduce the first female partner, there have always been a large proportion of female managers at Bryden Johnson and we continue to do our best to create an inclusive team culture.
“At Bryden Johnson we appreciate the financial challenges faces by smaller businesses so it’s encouraging to see how so many of our clients are embracing flexible working arrangements to accommodate the changing work force. It’s interesting to note however, that many business events I attend are still quite male dominated, and I’d definitely like to see a shift in that ratio.”
The ICAEW will be celebrating 100 years of women in chartered accountancy in May this year marking the admittance of it’s first female member. In 1895 the ICAEW President Charles Fitch Kemp commented that he would be so embarrassed by the admission of women that he would rather retire than consider it. It took another 25 years for Mary Harris Smith to be admitted to the profession as a Fellow (after several failed attempts) at the age of 76.
The ACCA, founded in 1904 admitted it’s first female member a little earlier in 1909. Ethel Ayres Purdie went on to become one of the leading providers of income tax advice to women – setting up the Women’s Tax Payers Agency.
As we head into 2020 almost an equal number of men and women now enter the professional across all the main professional bodies, with the ACCA reporting that in 2019 57% of its enrolled students were women. However, a 2016 ICAEW study showed that 57% of females admitted to seeing accountancy as a male dominated field, with one participant stating: “If I were to see more women partners and women higher up, it would make me think I can do that as well”.
To find out more about International Womens Day see www.internationalwomensday.com