This week Mercer & Hole Deputy Managing Partner, Gill Tallon celebrated 40 years as a tax professional, a career path which was driven by the words ‘Equal Opportunities Employer’ on a job advert. Much has changed over those forty years and as we celebrate International Women’s Day, the team at Mercer & Hole have given us their views on gender-balance, leadership and what more the accountancy industry could do to create a #BalanceforBetter.
Let’s start with Gill’s story. “My working life began working in a bank. At the time, there were eight trainees, six girls and two boys. We were told by the bank’s manager that two of us would be selected for banking exams after six months. Out of all the trainees, my colleague Jane and I were the only two with 100% record with no errors. As we all had to stay until the day’s remittances balanced this was a record to be proud of. When the manager announced that the two boys were put forward to the exams, we were more than disappointed. When I asked for feedback, I was simply told that our performance had been exceptional but “the truth is there are not many female bank managers” and I could have a perfectly good career as a cashier! It was then that I decided to leave. I saw a job advertised with the Inland Revenue, stating they were an equal opportunities employer – this was the driver for me to apply and the rest is history…
What more can be done to encourage gender-balance within the accountancy profession #IWD
Despite the positive words, more headway needs to be made in the industry. Accountancy’s Top 75 Survey 2019 reported 18.7% woman partners in the profession despite more women than men entering the accounting profession. At Mercer & Hole, there are more positive statistics with 33% woman partners but what more can be done to encourage gender-balance in the industry?