Monday 21 October 2019 12:58 pm

Accountancy sector lagging behind business on diversity says watchdog

The accountancy and audit profession is lagging behind business when it comes to the diversity of senior management, new research showed today.

A report by audit watchdog the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) found a massive drop off between women at manager level and partner level at accountancy firms.

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Women make up 46 per cent of manager roles at audit and accountancy firms but hold just 17 per cent of partner roles.

At smaller firms with less than 200 employees 52 per cent of manager roles are held by women, but women only hold 11 per cent of partner roles.

The FRC said the findings were ironic as “accountancy firms advise large corporations on their own diversity and inclusion strategies”.

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The regulator called for firms to “take rapid action to address this gap and report on their progress”.

The FRC’s chief executive Sir Jon Thompson said: “The business case for improved diversity has been made and now it’s time for the audit and accountancy profession to take further positive action.

“While it is encouraging to see more firms implementing diversity and inclusion strategies and more women, ethnic minority groups and disabled people being appointed to middle management roles, more needs to be done to ensure the firms are not limiting access to the most senior roles.”