Town Hall recap: Gender equity in the profession

By Nicole Fracasso, OSCPA communications intern 

While some might write off issues such as diversity and gender equity as merely trends, these areas will determine which businesses will be successful in the future.  

“Success is dependent not just on recognizing trends, but by acting on them,” said OSCPA president and CEO Scott Wiley, CAE, at the OSCPA Town Hall on women in leadership. 

On average, single women own 40 cents to every dollar owned by a single man, according to The Women’s Fund of Central Ohio 2019 Assets for Equity report. In addition, single Latina women own four cents to every dollar owned by a single male while single Black women own two cents to every dollar. 

“We also recognize the importance of increasing the number of women, especially women of color that are currently in positions of leadership,” Wiley said. 

At the July 9town hall Wiley was joined by Julie Boland, CPA, vice chair and regional managing partner for EY to discuss gender in the profession as well as racial equity. 

While our profession does a relatively good job when it comes to gender equity, there’s always more to do, said Boland. 

“If you look at some of the research that’s been compiled, diverse groups that are managed inclusively are truly more effective, more efficient and much more creative,” she said. “And we get better answers for our clients when we actually have diverse teams with us.” 

In addition, it’s important to have a call to action, and part of this is including everyone in the conversation. 

“We need to include men in those conversations and really create environments to have open honest dialogues,” she said. “In addition, as women I think it’s one of our responsibilities as we grow in our careers to make sure we carry those people and pull other women behind us into leadership positions.” 

Also in attendance was Lori Kaiser, CPA, founder and CEO of Kaiser Consulting, who discussed the importance a company’s culture plays in accelerating the profession. 

“The key to our company’s success has been culture,” said Kaiser. “One of the most important pillars of that culture is that we let our employees work flexible schedules.” 

Kaiser said that employees get to decide how much they want to work throughout the entire year, so that it fits with everything else going on in their life. 

“One of the things we always like to ask our employees is ‘In challenging times, what will work for you?’” Kaiser said. “And we make it a safe space for them to tell us.” 

Kaiser also said she is excited about bringing the best talent into the profession and helping careers flourish. 

“It’s not just attracting talent to the CPA profession but it’s making sure that advancement is there, and that people of diversity and women can move up the ranks,” she said. 

To learn more about the latest trends in the profession, tune into our Town Hall series Thursdays at 12:00 and register here. 

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