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Do women make the best auditors?

23/09/15

Back in March Lord Davies published a report highlighting the growth in women on the boards of Britain’s largest companies, finding that in the four years leading up to its publication the proportion of women in such positions doubled to over 25%.

This is great news not only for women, but for the health of our biggest organisations. A more diverse organisation is likely to be more successful, with a variety of views, perspectives and experiences contributing to corporate success. This has been demonstrated in a recent report from non-profit Catalyst, which found that organisations with more female board members achieved an average return-on-equity 53% higher than those with fewer women in top jobs.

The accounting industry still has work to do towards achieving gender parity however, with the latest research from the ICAEW indicating only 27% of its membership is female. It is important that the profession works hard to boost the number of women within its ranks for several reasons. Not only does vocational training in accountancy provide the business leaders of tomorrow with a top notch education in finance, helping to give them greater ‘Klout’ in the Square Mile, but it will also benefit the industry as a whole.

Just as boards benefit from diversity, so too do auditing teams. Research suggests men are biologically conditioned to react to threats while women are more likely to cooperate and take a sharing stance, making them arguably better equipped to deal with the intense pressures of busy season.

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