Unlocking an Inclusive Workplace – A practical guide


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.

You can read the full report here and watch the research webinar here.

Download the Toolkit

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.

Poll Question

Survey Findings

The survey found that while some in-roads have been made, there is still much to do for the profession to both attract and retain female talent – especially mid-career. The survey also indicated that 8 in 10 women felt they had a lot to offer the profession despite being a parent and that ambition doesn’t reduce with parenthood, with 7 in 10 stating that they believe they can
obtain a senior position

However, a lack of confidence to progress their career came out as the number one barrier for women, with 31% citing it as blocking their progression. 29% of women felt that the management style of their superiors and company culture were prohibitive to their career and 25% of women stated that a lack of time off to care for children was a barrier for them.

Networking also felt exclusive to many women because of the times these events took place, meaning they were unable to make connections for work because of family commitments.

Indeed, throughout their career, women are significantly more likely to experience impediments to their career progression. Conversely, by the time men reach their late career, they are significantly more likely to claim that they have not experienced any barriers to their career (29%*).

There are some key opportunities that the profession could embrace to ensure mid-career women stay motivated, are able to progress and remain a valuable resource to employers. For example, over 1 in 3 mid-career women (36%) highlight flexible hours or working location as an important enabler for career progression. Furthermore, 3 in 4 mid-career women (75%*) currently acknowledge that a supportive line manager and/or being given the opportunity to work on new projects that allowed them to develop their skill-set as having the biggest impact on their career progression and 67% stated that they would love a mentor to support and guide them.

Lastly, the ability to work flexibly and in a hybrid manner while remaining visible and valued by senior managers was something many women cited as being something many women cited as being something that would make a huge difference to them.

Watch the Webinar

In this webinar we revealed and debated the survey findings and dug into the opportunities and challenges for women in the profession, their employers and the lessons that need to be learned as a result of these findings.

Download the full report

Mapping women's career journey

If you would like to read the full report and the recommendations it makes, you can download it here.