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Number of female accountants on the rise

18th Feb 2014
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Women now make up 44% of full time accountants in the UK, according to figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS). 

Recent stats show that out of the 73,000 full-time chartered accountants, 32,000 are female, up on 2012.

Recruitment firm Randstad Financial & Professional said in a report that they are seeing this statistic in action, as for the first time in the firm's history, there are more women applying for professional services jobs than men.

According to their figures, last year just over half of candidates registering with them have been women - 1,209 compared to 1,177 men.

During the same period the previous year, 47% of registered candidates were women.

The company analysed 1,250 job offers across professional services, finance & risk, banking operations, compliance and investment management positions.

Head of recruitment at Sift Media Jayne Florence said that the rise of women in the accountancy workforce was in line with economic trends.

She added that while nearly half joining the profession are female, less than 25% of them are partners. 

"Across nearly all regions of the world, it is now common for more than half of accounting professional new hires to be women. Some firms even report impressive ratios that exceed 70%.

"Yet today, women only account less than 25% of partners within accountancy firms. Before the recession there was great emphasis on encouraging the progression of women in the profession by motivating accounting firms to identify and motivate top female talent in their firms offering incentives and support," she said.

Florence added that now the economy is entering a growth period, firms need to examine ways to promote half of their talent and look at potential barriers to women going forward. 

Randstad added that there were also a number of other moves in the wider economic sphere, including the recent gender quota announcement at Lloyds Banking Group. The bank is aiming to ensure that 40% of its 5,000 senior staff are female within the next six years.

But ultimately the recruitment company said that the increase has been driven by an increase in supply of well-qualified female talent and the effect of professional services firms’ diversity programmes.

The latest admission statistics from the Universities and Colleges Admission Service (UCAS) show that of the 580,000 people that applied for places at British institutions, 333,700 of them were women. Only 246,300 men applied - a difference of 87,000.

And according to further figures from the ONS, overall female employment figures - not just in the accounting sector - are at an all-time high: 

Record-breaking female employment - rate hits new high of 67.2% and 14m are in a job according to @ons #jobs2014

— DWP Press Office (@dwppressoffice) February 19, 2014


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