This spring after enthusiastic response to a membership survey, The Ohio Society of CPAs (OSCPA) has launched a new initiative to engage women CPAs and provide resources to help them achieve greater career success.
In a 2012 OSCPA survey, which garnered over 1,400 responses, 80 percent of women CPAs indicated it was somewhat or very important for OSCPA to develop programs and activities specifically for female members. According to the survey, Ohio women CPAs want programs and events geared towards women’s interests, work/life balance strategies, leadership development and career path resources.
OSCPA’s Women’s Initiative follows a recent study by AICPA that indicated a gender disparity in CPA leadership positions. While women represent 50 percent of all CPAs, the research showed just 19 percent are firm shareholders/partners and less than 9 percent are chief financial officers within the business industry.
“The Women’s Initiative is an opportunity for OSCPA to respond to the changing profession,” said Marie Brilmyer, CPA, member of the Women’s Initiative Committee and OSCPA’s Executive Board. “While the issues facing women today are certainly not gender or profession specific, OSCPA is able to provide resources and support to its members to face the issues surrounding work/life balance, flexible work arrangements, and career advancement head on.”
Unlike other diversity programs focused on talent development, the Women’s Initiative looks to build awareness and to provide resources for women CPAs. OSCPA recently kicked off the initiative by creating a private LinkedIn group and hosting five receptions throughout the state.
“OSCPA’s Women’s Initiative has the potential to support CPAs in new and important ways,” said Scott Wiley, CAE, president and CEO. “It provides a platform for our members to connect and build community around common interests and professional goals.”