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American Society of Women Accountants report offers ideas to boost diversity

By Journal Staff

Date:

The American Society of Women Accountants (ASWA) has issued a new report making several recommendations for how companies can increase hiring of women and minorities in the accounting and finance professions, especially in high-level positions.

In the report, entitled “2012 ASWA Special Report on Solutions to Increase Diversity in the Accounting and Finance Fields,” ASWA examines what both employers and employees can do in order to increase diversity numbers at all levels of the accounting and finance profession, with a special emphasis on the top rungs of the career ladder.

“ASWA is troubled by the lack of diversity at the top of the profession,” ASWA National President Cheryl Heitz said in a news release. “It is important for any employee to feel valued at their place of work. We see minorities and women drop out of the profession when the organization’s policies and culture conflict with minority and women’s needs and expectations.”

The report explores the importance of introducing minorities and women to the accounting and finance fields at a young age. Then, in order to encourage retention and advancement, organizations need to implement structural mechanisms that foster a welcoming company culture where motivated and skilled minority and women professionals wish to stay, ASWA says. 

The organization adds that it is equally important for minority and women employees to focus on personal career advancement. The report cites programs in the accounting and finance fields and highlights successful diversity initiatives in other industries that have made significant strides towards the diversity goals ASWA has set.

Highlights of the 2012 ASWA Special Report on Solutions to Increase Diversity in the Accounting and Finance Fields include:

- Bring exposure to the industry by educating students about accounting and finance 

- Businesses can implement structural mechanisms and programs that foster growth opportunities and promotions

- Companies can create an inclusive culture by educating employees about the benefits of retaining a diverse staff and the
unique challenges diverse employees face

- Diverse individuals should take certain steps to focus on personal career advancement

ASWA issued the special report in conjunction with its 2012 ASWA Annual Conference for Accounting and Financial Women — “Connect. Advance. Lead,” held in San Diego, Calif. Oct. 22-24.

The full ASWA special report is available at http://bit.ly/ASWAResearch. 

 

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