Only one in five, 20%, of ICAEW members are female while the comparative figures for the ACCA is 36%.
The figures are revealed in the second annaul report Key Facts and Trends in the Accountancy Profession compiled by the Financial Reporting Council.
Overall, 25% of professional accountants in the UK institute are female compared to 20% in 1997.
Meanwhile the bodies show signs of changing the gender balance. Statistics compiled for student members show that worldwide some 48% are female, a modest increase on the 1997 figure of 44%.
However, it is the Irish institute that is the best performer on the gender issue. In fact a majority of ICAI students, 52%, are female. The next best is ACCA with 51% followed by CIPFA with 50%.
The sectoral analysis of accountants also reveals some astonishing figures. Between 1997 and 2002 the number of accountants in practice grew by just 1.8% worldwide. Meanwhile some 52.2% of the profession is in industry and commerce. The next biggest sector is the public sector with a growth of 12.9%. The British institutes now have a total of 320,643 members around the world compared to 258,059 in 1997.
By institute the ICAEW has by far and away the largest number of its members, 68,000 in industry and commerce. CIMA has 40,000 and the ACCA 52,000.
In terms of UK numbers the ICAEw remains the largest body with a total of 108,157 members in 2002 compared to 52,678 at the ACCA, 46,820 at CIMA, and 13,213 for CIPFA.
However, a look at UK growth rates quickly shows that member numbers at ACCA and CIMA have grown much more significantly than the ICAEW.
Since 1997 the ACCA has grown by 45.3% and CIMA by almost a third. The institute meanwhole has only increased UK membership by 10.3%. The lowest growth figures however remains with CIPFA at just 2.7%.
Go to www.frc.org.uk for more information
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