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January 29, 2023

Survey: Working Moms in Accounting Firms Could Have It Much Worse

Our friends at Vault are still cranking out surveys and last week they debuted a new one that focused on working parents. Now, I don't have kids so I suppose that disqualifies me from commenting on juggling a professional life and trying to rear a helpless baby into something that slightly resembles a human being and, therefore, I really don't have much say in what accounting firms should or should not be doing to make that juggling act a little easier, but to hell with that.  

Seems like everything is fine anyway because working moms at accounting firms have it pretty good compared to a lot of industries:

On a scale of 1 to 10, how accommodating is your employer of working mothers?

(Women who work in) Accounting: 7.66
Finance & Banking: 6.96
Education: 6.758 
Law: 6.45 
Consulting: 6.44
Jesus, lawyers just can't win. 
Of course it's important to remember that work-life balance takes a bit of effort. It's hilarious when people talk about a great work-life balance at their firm but then never go on vacation or use any of the perks offered to them. Flex-time — the most prevalent benefit — is a good example of a benefit that is only as useful as you make it. Sure, it might be easier to insist on using it since there's a brand new human in your house that can't eat, communicate, sleep regular hours, or get after that list of chores without your help, but still! It's one thing to say, "I'm on a flex-schedule," and it's a completely another to make it a reality. I've seen women on 30 hour flex-week schedules working 60 hours a week. And who's fault is that? It's not like the rest of the team was in as much need of a clean diaper as the babies at home. (Well, maybe a couple.)
HOWEVAH, the big takeaway from Vault's working parent survey is that if you work at an accounting firm, your situation could be worse. Like the 21% of firms1 that don't offer paid maternity leave. Or the 10% of firms that don't even offer UNPAID maternity leave. Or the 23% of firms that don't offer flex-time options at all. Just think of the lack of sleep!
So you've got it better than most, accounting moms; just don't forget to work that work-life balance. Think of it this way — if you take your flex-time as serious as you take blowing up your Facebook feed with pictures, then you'll be just fine.
1 Law: 26%; Accounting: 14%; Consulting: 10%; Education: 8%; Banking/Finance: 5%; Healthcare: 5%; Human Resources: 5%; Technology: 5%; Nonprofit: 3% — Yes, this is a useful footnote.

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