As most of us know, women are overrepresented in public accounting yet not necessarily rewarded for their hard work, dedication, and deftness in handling both career and family (for first and second years, substitute “family” for “sleeping with hot coworkers”). Knowing that, we’re thrilled to tell you that BDO has been chosen as one of the 2010 Best CPA Firms for Women by the American Society of Women Accountants and the American Woman’s Society of Certified Public Accountants. The award is an initiative of the ASWA and AWSCPA joint Accounting/MOVE project, a national research effort to measure progress and advance women at public accounting firms and corporate accounting employers.
The Accounting/MOVE project was especially impressed by BDO’s promotion of women within the firm tied directly to BDO’s training and retention initiative.
As a working mother AND woman myself, I find it appropriate to point out that not all women are mothers so it doesn’t necessarily mean any progress has been made on BDO’s work/life policies. It would be awfully presumptuous of everyone – and, frankly, a tad sexist – to assume as much. For some women, work/life balance simply means spending less time at work and more time hooking up with coworkers or pursuing other hobbies and activities that don’t involve dirty diapers and scrubbing crayon drawings off of the wall.
Somehow female accountants over 45 in the UK earn 60% less than their male counterparts. The disparity is so ridiculous it defies understanding, but according to a study conducted by the ICAEW and Robert Half, men earn more than women at all stages of their careers and the gap widens with increased experience. This finding is consistent with the 2008 report. So ladies, if you’re on the partner track and thinking, “London might nice,” we’d advise against it. As for our female readers from the UK, you can always jump the pond, we’d love to have you here …
From the report:
Overall, male [Associate Chartered Accountants] are better remunerated than females – an average basic salary of £88,200 for males (median £76,000) is almost 50% higher than their female colleagues’ average of £60,500 (median £53,000) (Fig 3). The average male salary is up by 7% on last year, females by 10%. However, the average bonus of £24,700 for males has dropped slightly compared to last year, while that of their female colleagues, at £11,600, has increased by 33% (median £6,900 males and £2,400 females). The bonus received by male ACAs represents 28% of average basic salary, while females received only 19%.
The differential reflects in part at least that male ACAs are typically older (46 against 40 for females), longer qualified (18 and 14 years respectively) and more likely to be in a permanent full-time role (88% and 72%). They also spend longer hours at work (45 v 38 hours per week).
It’s especially cute how this is “in part” chalked up to age and experience. It would probably be terribly bad form for the ICAEW and Robert Half to come right out and say that the difference in average pay is say, absolutely ridiculous and blatant evidence of patriarchal institutions exhibiting clear gender bias when it comes to compensation.
ICAEW/Robert Half Career Benchmarking Survey 2009 [ICAEW via Accountancy Age]