Almost two thirds of UK finance directors believe that there are more opportunities for women to move up the ranks in finance and accounting roles than 10 years ago and 87% think women have a better chance of securing executive board positions as a result of those opportunities. Some 81% believe they have a better chance of moving into a chief executive role, according to a new report.
The survey of over 200 finance executives in UK companies by recruitment firm Robert Half found female finance chiefs are more positive than male finance directors about the opportunities for women to progress. More than two thirds of female finance directors believe there are better opportunities than 10 years ago, compared to 61% of men. The vast majority of female finance directors think women have a better chance of reaching the board compared to 83% of men, while 88% of female FDs think women could become CEOs following a more positive career in finance and accounting compared to 75% of men.
Finance directors in London and the South East are also far more positive about opportunities for women to progress to the top spots in business than counterparts in other regions. Three quarters believe women have a better chance of moving through the ranks in finance and accounting compared to 65% of FDs in the South West and Wales, 65% in the North, 60% in the Midlands and 55% in Scotland.
Phil Sheridan, Managing Director of Robert Half UK, said: “Creating a diverse talent pool should be at the top of the agenda for businesses, alongside attracting and retaining skilled professionals. Providing more career opportunities for women within finance will see a stronger talent network for business to draw upon. This will not only improve prospects for women, but for the economy as a whole.
“Candidates with a strong background in finance are highly-valued as these professionals can drive business objectives with a strong understanding of the financial implications, and are therefore often candidates for the role of CEO. Talented accounting and finance professionals who are able to translate actionable insight from the numbers are more likely to accelerate their career projection.”
The percentage of women in the accountancy profession moved from 34% in 2010 to 36% in 2014.