2015 has been a great year for female executives in the accounting industry, as two of the Big Four accounting firms have named female CEOs.
KPMG announced its first-ever female CEO, Lynne Doughtie, on April 21. This might seem like a big milestone for the industry, but statistics have shown an increase in women in the accounting field overall. Accounting and professional services have often been regarded as relatively hospitable fields for women. Working Mother magazine’s list of the 100 best companies to work for includes 18 accounting or consulting firms, including all of the big four.
Deloitte, another Big Four firm, announced its first female CEO, Cathy Engelbert, earlier this year. Both women have been with their firms for decades and worked their way up from auditing and accounting positions.
These women overcame the struggles of corporate culture to find their spot as leaders and certainly have internal support behind them. KPMG specifically shows great strides in its ability to obtain female employees. Currently, 44.5 percent of KPMG’s U.S. workforce is female. Women currently make up 19 percent of KPMG partners, which is up from 13 percent in 2003.
This shows women are making great strides in finding their place at the head of the table. It will be interesting to see who follows next – maybe Ernst & Young or PricewaterhouseCoopers?