Firms fail women wanting to be partners, say FDs

This week’s Accountancy Age/Reed Accountancy Big Question found that 53% of those asked felt firms were limiting opportunities for women to become partners, compared with 20% who thought firms were doing a good job in equal opportunities.

‘I feel that senior partners definitely look more favourably towards male candidates for partnerships as they feel it is the safe choice for stability,’ said Tina Cowdrey, partner at Cowdrey & Co.

‘This isn’t unique to accountancy firms and is unlikely to change while parenting is seen as being mainly a woman’s responsibility by organisations, and they are unwilling to grant flexibility to parents of young children in exchange for productivity and commitment,’ said another respondent.

Some have found ways to deal with issues of sexism. ‘This is the reason why I set up my own firm with another female partner 22 years ago,’ said the FD of McGarry Worsey & Co.

Others felt some of the blame should lie with the women themselves. ‘I have never experienced any discrimination or bias from the large practices,’ said another.

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