How To Advance Women Into The C-Suite

A solution to this gap in female promotion is mentorship



Gender bias at firms must be countered by strong mentorship and a need for management to "get uncomfortable," according to a panel of experts during a recent session of the AICPA's 2020 Engage conference.

The session, "How to Advance Women into the C-suite," included speakers Jacquelyn Tracy, a partner at Mandel & Tracy; Rosemarie Brammer, a tax and accounting senior at Beemer Smith and Munro; Scharrell Jackson, COO at BPM; and Latoria Farmer, executive director of inclusion and diversity at KPMG.

While female diversity in managerial positions has been steadily increasing in firms, the number is still nowhere near a level that represents true diversity, according to the panel. Part of the problem is firms not fully harnessing their talent pool — women included — to promote those with potential.

"The first challenge I see women face is knowing their value and marketability and knowing when to explore your options," said Farmer. "The second area that is really significant is around retention and the need for organizations to reinforce that value proposition to keep women engaged and challenged with the opportunity to clearly be able to envision the future. Every organization should assess their talent pipeline ... to identify the peaks or transfer where we are losing women and if they are experiencing career stagnation."

Coupled with the profession's ongoing need to address racial diversity, being a woman of color can be especially challenging.

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Source: Accounting Today

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