Celebrating Women in Accounting



The month of March in the United States is reserved to honor the history of women in the workplace, in politics and innovation. In the accounting profession, women have been leaving their mark in this industry since the 1800s, with Christine Ross being the first woman to become a CPA in New York in 1896. Thirty-four years later, Grace Dimmer became the first Michigan woman to earn a CPA designation, according to Walsh College1.

Each year, the MICPA takes time to acknowledge the ongoing efforts of women in the profession through various initiatives and events. Last year, we honored seven Women to Watch within the organization for outstanding leadership. Jennifer Fiebelkorn, CISA, at Plante Moran, Kathryn L. McEachin, at BDO, and Victoria A. Mundinger, CPA, of Rehmann were recognized as Emerging Leaders with a demonstrated trajectory toward profession leaders. Julie Bogas, CPA, PMP, at PwC, Susan E. Bos, CPA, of the Washtenaw County Treasurer’s Office, Astrid Braeuer, CPA at BDO and Lisa L. Howze, CPA, at Davenport University were also acknowledged with the Experienced Leader Award for making notable contributions to the accounting profession and the development of women as leaders.

Of course, women are impacting the industry all over the country, steadily filtering into the profession since the likes of Ross and Dimmer. Now more than 60% of CPAs in the U.S. and a quarter of the industry’s leadership are women. While progress in leadership has been slower than overall participation within the industry, one of the world’s most powerful accounting firms, CliftonLarsonAllen (CLA) is led by CEO Jen Leary. Moreover, several of the other top accounting firms were listed as “Top Companies for Executive Women” in 2020 by the National Association for Female Executives (NAFE) including BDO, EY, KPMG, Deloitte, Grant Thornton and Moss Adams according to the CPA Practice Advisor2.

“…the NAFE Top Companies list recognizes organizations that have made a significant impact in helping women advance to executive levels. It evaluates mentoring and sponsorship programs, as well as employee resource groups and leadership development training opportunities. The CEO and other leaders at the top 70 companies are deeply involved in establishing notable company benefits and corporate culture initiatives that have made a significant impact for gender-equity.”

Supporting the advancement of women within leadership not only more accurately reflects the overall body of the accounting profession, but it yields returns. In 2019, Accounting Today reported “companies in the top quartile for gender diversity at the executive level were 21% more likely to outperform on profitability. Put simply, it has become abundantly clear that investing in women is the right thing to do — from both a moral and fiscal perspective3.”

As Women’s History Month marches on, the MICPA continues to work toward a more diverse and inclusive profession. Shine a light on the impactful women of your firm by tagging the #MICPA and #WomensHistoryMonth on social media! Or, get involved by joining the MICPA Woman’s Initiative Task Force to help accelerate and advance careers for women in the accounting and finance professions!

  1. Women & Walsh: Blazing a Trail...Walsh College. Accessed 15 Mar. 2021.
  2. Accounting Firms Make List of Best Companies for Executive Women.CPA Practice Advisor. 11 Mar. 2020. Accessed 15 Mar. 2021.
  3. Schecter, Sandy. “Voices: The Nature of Women in Accounting.Accounting Today. 15 Nov. 2019. Accessed 15 Mar. 2021.

Source: MICPA

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