64 per cent of accountancy firms have no female senior members

Around two thirds of finance firms do not have any women as executives, senior accountants or partners, according to a report from Visible Women.

Of the 4,771 executive board members, senior accountants and partners in the top 1000 firms reviewed, it was found that only 903 are female, with just 73 of these women being from ethnic minorities. 98 per cent of all companies had five or fewer female board members or partners.

The UK finance industry was criticised by Prime Minister Theresa May earlier this month for failing to promote women, and the report comes six years after the Equality Act being passed in 2010.

In recent years, the percentage of female students has risen, to the point where women typically make up at least half of all enrolments; despite this, males still make up 65 percent of male professionals.

“Our findings suggest that the glass ceiling is still very much evident in the accounting profession,” said Barbara Kasumu, CEO of Elevation Networks, the employment charity who runs Visible Women.

“Too few women are making it to the top of the profession, despite almost half of students enrolling with professional UK accounting courses being female.

“Accounting firms need to be more intentional with initiatives designed to support women as they progress through the ranks. The profession needs to borrow best practice from other industries as a matter of urgency. The current rate of progress is too slow.”