August 2023 Content
Empowering Women in Leadership: Nurturing Success in the Accounting Profession
The accounting profession has witnessed a gradual shift towards greater gender diversity, with more women breaking barriers and ascending to leadership positions. While progress has been made, challenges still exist for women aspiring to thrive as leaders in the accounting world.
Here are five recommended strategies for women to succeed in leadership roles:
Women have been making steady strides in advancing their careers and breaking through the glass ceiling. According to a study by Catalyst, a global nonprofit working for workplace gender equality, the percentage of women holding senior leadership roles in S&P 500 companies increased from 14.6% in 2010 to 27.9% in 2020. This significant rise indicates that women are increasingly recognized for their leadership capabilities and are being appointed to key decision-making positions.
To excel in leadership, a clear and well-defined career navigation plan is crucial. Identifying your strengths, skills, and areas for improvement will aid in charting the right course. Networking plays a significant role as well. Building and nurturing a strong professional network can open doors to new opportunities, provide valuable insights, and offer support during challenging times. Seeking guidance from mentors and sponsors can also prove invaluable in navigating the complexities of the accounting profession.
According to a survey conducted by the Center for Talent Innovation, executive presence accounts for 67% of women's overall leadership effectiveness. Professional presence is the image and impact that a leader projects in the workplace. Developing a strong personal brand that aligns with your career goals and values is key to standing out as a leader.
Women should hone their verbal and non-verbal communication skills to convey confidence and professionalism. Executive presence, which includes projecting authority and gravitas, can help establish credibility as a leader
Research by the American Psychological Association (APA) highlights that women tend to experience higher levels of work related stress compared to men. Recognizing stress triggers and adopting healthy coping mechanisms are essential. Mindfulness practices, meditation, and regular exercise can help in managing stress and maintaining mental well-being.
Time management is another critical aspect of stress management. Women leaders should prioritize tasks, delegate when necessary, and create a healthy work-life balance. Setting boundaries and knowing when to step back and recharge are essential to prevent burnout.
Leadership roles often come with numerous challenges and setbacks. The Women's Leadership Study by Korn Ferry revealed that women scored higher than men in areas such as emotional intelligence and problem-solving, both of which are integral to building resilience. This ability to adapt and bounce back from setbacks empowers women leaders to navigate complex situations with determination and grace.
Maintaining a growth mindset and viewing failures as opportunities for learning and growth are essential traits of resilient leaders. Seeking support from mentors, colleagues, and support networks can also strengthen resilience.
Negotiation skills play a vital role in career advancement. A study published in the Journal of Organizational Behavior revealed that women who received negotiation training closed the gender pay gap by 61% compared to their non-trained peers. Women leaders should develop a solid understanding of negotiation fundamentals and strategies by participating in negotiation training workshops, seek mentorship from experienced negotiators and practice negotiation in different scenarios. Effective communication is at the core of successful negotiations.
In conclusion, succeeding as a woman in leadership within the accounting profession requires a combination of essential attributes and strategies. By setting clear career goals, cultivating a strong network of mentors and supporters, and developing effective stress management techniques, women leaders can position themselves for success. Embracing a positive and resilient mindset, while honing their professional presence and negotiation skills, will empower them to overcome challenges and seize opportunities in the accounting profession.
Women's leadership is not only a matter of gender representation but also a catalyst for positive transformation in the workplace and beyond.
Explore common career success factors for women by attending our Women in Leadership Certificate Program – available in two cohorts starting in September. Expanding on our popular Women’s Leadership Series, check out our Mini-Series which will give you new tools to achieve success, however you define it.
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Did You Know?
The Canadian Standards for Quality Control (CSQC1) have replaced the Canadian Standard for Quality Management (CSQM1 and CSQM2) and related amendments to relevant assurance standards.
For firms who perform assurance engagements, the systems of quality management were required to be implemented by December 15, 2022. For non-assurance firms, which includes Compilation Engagement providers, the systems of quality management for related services engagements are required to be implemented by December 15, 2023.