Unlocking An Inclusive Workplace

In late 2022, Chartered Accountants Worldwide’s (CAW) global ED&I task force partnered with Magenta – a specialist research agency – to conduct the first global study to map the career journeys of women in the profession and identify the barriers and opportunities for employers to open career pathways for women to progress into more senior positions.


Top 10 Barriers To Career Progression

More than 3,500 mid-career men and women took part in the study across 8 countries that included over forty in-depth interviews. 74% found it easier to work flexibility / at home.

Managment styles of my immediate superiors 29%
Company culture 27%
Unequal access to opportunities 25%
Lack of confidence to progress my career 31%
Lack of opportunities to senior positions 23%
Being a parent / guardian 25%
Lack of diversity at the top levels of organisations 20%
Take time off to have / care for children 25%
Bias due to my gender 18%
Lack of flexibilty of working hours 15%


Employers can play a hugely significant role in changing workplace culture, to ensure their people, no matter what their background, thrive. Chartered Accountants Worldwide has put together this toolkit for employers, so that you can start those conversations and embed the right practices and processes on how best to support your female talent. This is not an exhaustive list, rather a guide to set you on the right path or assist your thinking if you’ve already started your journey.

We hope that this toolkit will help your organisation drive change and support your female talent to thrive by embedding good practice; addressing the workplace culture; developing confidence and training opportunities and to think about the right networks and opportunities required to support your female workforce.



Adhere to diversity-related laws and regulations and consider talent acquisition and establishing a positive external employer brand.


Programmes and approaches that support ED&I, including mentoring programmes, initiatives to address unconscious bias, and the establishment of Employee Resource Groups, ED&I events etc.


ED&I is viewed as integral to the business strategy, and non-inclusive behaviours are not tolerated. Leaders step up by challenging the status quo and addressing barriers to inclusion.