Finance sector failing to improve gender balance

Gender diversity within the finance profession is showing very little sign of progress, according to new research.

A survey of nearly 3,500 members of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (Acca) found that nearly two-thirds of respondents feel it was easier for men to become finance leaders than women.

While female accountancy students make up at least half of those entering the profession, the number thins out dramatically at a senior level, according to Acca.

The accounting body pointed to figures released in August which showed there was only one female financial director in the FTSE 100, while less than 10% of partners with the UK Big Four accountancy firms are female.

Two-thirds of respondents said the ‘work-life balance’ was harder for women to achieve, but institutional bias and cultural expectations were cited by 46% of respondents as barriers.

The survey found that almost half (44%) of respondents felt that the recruitment process was transparent, but significantly, a third felt that it wasn’t.

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