What’s Stopping YOU? Fostering Female Ambition

The Chartered Accountants Worldwide ED&I Taskforce collaborated with research agency, Magenta, to understand and map the career journey of women in the Chartered Accountancy profession. The global qualitative and quantitative research study of over 3500 members across 8 countries identifies the barriers ambitious women are facing which prevent them reaching their true potential.

In this webinar we reveal and debate the survey findings and delve into the opportunities and challenges for women in the profession, their employers and the lessons we can learn.

What is clear from the findings is that our profession has a long way to go on its ‘levelling up’ journey with mid-career women facing a variety of challenges that men do not. It is important that employers recognise the talent these mid-career women possess and work to nurture and retain that talent – especially when many organisations are facing a recruitment crisis and are struggling to engage experienced staff.

Download the Survey Findings

More than 3,500 mid-career men and women took part in the study across 8 countries that included over forty in-depth interviews.

The survey revealed 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.

Mapping women's career journey

Meet the Speakers

Ainslie van Onselen

Ainslie van Onselen
Chief Executive Officer, Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand

Ainslie has been the Chief Executive Officer of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand since May 2020 (CAANZ). For more than 20 years Ainslie enjoyed a parallel career as a law partner and non-executive director, before progressing into senior C-suite executive roles including Managing Director and CEO of RAMS Home Loans and running Australia’s second largest bank, Westpac’s $200 billion retail deposits and credit card portfolio.

Ainslie is passionate about social justice, inclusion and diversity. She is the former Global Director of Women’s Markets, Inclusion and Diversity for Westpac and currently serves as a Commissioner of Legal Aid New South Wales and Chair of New South Wales number one non-select private school, Kambala Girls School and is a member of Chief Executive Women, Australia.

An Australian Financial Review Women of Influence winner and a former 40 under 40 WA Business News and University of Western Australia Award winner, Ainslie was invited to represent CAANZ and the accounting and auditing professions at the Australian Government’s 2022 Jobs Summit.

As well as steering CAANZ’s strategy and digital and data transformation, Ainslie drives CAANZ’s inclusion and diversity agenda and is a prominent advocate for global sustainability and ESG standards.

Sinead Donovan

Sinead Donovan, Chairperson of Grant Thornton and incoming President of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland

Sinead is the Chairperson of Grant Thornton and in the incoming President of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland. Sinead joined Grant Thornton in 2002 and was admitted to the partnership in 2005, becoming the first female partner. She specialising in providing services to multinational companies and is partner in an international team which services the global needs of these mature and large companies, with particular regard to central reporting on multiple jurisdictions in Irish headquarters and/or Shared Service Centres. She was instrumental in founding the Irish/US Group, which is a permanent department, consisting of an Irish directors based in the US. This link ensures a seamless service offering between the Irish and US firms to relevant clients.

Sinead has been on the Council of the institute of Chartered Accountants for some 10 years and is an advocate for the accountancy profession. She is passionate about the need to ensure the profession utilises technology and AI smartly and effectively and is also a firm believer in the global qualification of Chartered Accountancy as the world becomes more connected.

Sinead is a strong believer in the importance of Inclusion; Diversity and Equity to ensure a motivated, effective and thriving work place. She is an advocate for mental wellbeing initiatives and a former chairperson of CA SUPPORT which is the body tasked with providing support to all Chartered members and students in Ireland.

Zimkita Mabindla

Zimkita Mabindla, Partner – Consumer, Industrial & Mining – Audit, KPMG Inc

Zimkita is first, foremost and always, a Mommy. She is thereafter, a leader in the profession, and a KPMG audit partner with over 24 years of a diversified career path.

She prides herself on having fully financed her working full time / studying part time CA journey from 3rd year Technikon for 10 years, until she qualified in 2006. She is passionate about nurturing and developing future responsible business leaders, especially young women She is involved in several initiatives to promote the value of the profession and to rebuild trust. She is a highly visible leader on all platforms, who believes that we only can grow as women, by sharing our authentic stories and the lessons we learned.

Only social media can enable us to reach as many women in the profession as possible – she believes.

The right insights and solutions are embedded in our authentic stories, as women, telling these with honesty, will surely, reverse the debilitating consequences of various systems, that seek to limit us – for the next generations – our daughters, our nieces and granddaughters.

Sarah Jenkins

Dr. Sarah Jenkins, Director Magenta

Sarah has more than 20 years’ experience delivering high quality insight for global clients as well as start up companies. She has worked with a wide range of participants from senior stakeholders through B2B projects, and B2C projects with minority groups, kids and young people and medical practitioners.

Sarah’s academic interests focused on exploring the role of women in the labour market. She is a multiple published author and started her career conducting social policy research before moving to Ipsos MORI where she was Head of Qualitative within their Media, Content and Technology team working with clients such as Google, Vodaphone, Disney and Facebook. Here Sarah won the prestigious AQR Award for Qualitative Effectiveness for her work with the BBC. She’s since worked with boutique agencies to develop their teams and expand their client offering before founding Magenta in 2016.

Magenta is a small strategic insight agency that works with brands to understand consumer motivations and behaviours. We uncover genuine truths that enable us to tell a story that hasn’t been told before. Magenta won the Marketing Excellence and Insight Award in 2019 for work supporting transgender people, and, this year Magenta was a finalist for the Qualitative Impact Award for work conducted with marginalised groups on behalf of the ICAEW.

Joe Consedine

Joe Consedine, Director, Champions for Change and Global Women Advocacy, Global Women

Joe leads Global Women’s Champions for Change program – a group of over 80 leading CEO’s and Board Chairs, each with a personal mission to accelerate inclusive and diverse leadership in our workplaces.

Previously to his role at Global Women, Joe was the New Zealand General Manager for Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand and the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Strategy Leader and member of the CAW DEI taskforce. Joe developed CA ANZ’s first DEI strategy including the development of a Gender Pay Gap Playbook.

Clive Bellingham

Clive Bellingham CA, Deputy President, ICAS

Clive Bellingham CA, retired in 2021 from his role as a Partner at PwC where his leadership roles took him to all parts of the world. As a member of PwC’s Global Board for 8 years, Clive contributed to the governance and oversight of a network that covers more than 150 countries. He chaired the Clients & Markets Committee for 4 years and retains a position on the PwC India Advisory Board.

Clive joined PwC in Glasgow in 1984 after qualifying as a CA with Bird Simpson & Co in Dundee. He has worked for PwC in Scotland, Saudi Arabia and Switzerland, where he has been resident since 1987.

Having benefited from a wide range of influences and experiences during his career, Clive is an advocate of diversity in business. In 2016 he joined the board of Advance, a non-profit association set up by leading Swiss-based companies to increase the representation of women at the executive level.

Clive was elected to ICAS Council in 2016 as the Europe seat member and has served on Members Board and the Audit & Risk Committee. Clive served as Vice President 2021/2022

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