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Women Say Accounting & Finance Careers Offer Life-Work Balance: Study

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Women in accounting and finance believe they face different obstacles from their male counterparts, but still think the profession provides a good work/life balance, according to the latest Mergis Group Women in Finance survey.

The survey, released Monday, also reveals a definitive need for more mentors in the profession, Mergis said in a statement.

This year’s survey includes findings in several key areas.

A recommended profession with not enough mentors:

  • 28% of women and 31% of men reported that they had never had a mentor or role model to support their careers in the accounting and finance profession.
  • Approximately two-thirds of men and women said they believed role models are critical to a successful accounting and finance career.
  • 80% of women and 86% of men would recommend the profession to a family member.
  • 88% of men and 86% of women would absolutely recommend the profession to young women.

Best practices for encouraging young women to enter the field:

  • More than half of women and men believe there is a need for greater promotion of accounting and finance as a career choice for women.
  • Half of the women and men surveyed claimed more mentoring programs would help.
  • About one-third of women and 26% of men felt more educational programs about the field are necessary to pique interest.
  • A third of women but only 13% of men said greater availability of scholarship grants would incentivize people to join the profession.

Important factors leading to successful finance and accounting career:

  • 48% of men and 51% of women rate accounting and finance skills and expertise as the top factor to success.
  • 41% of women and 39% of men named relationship building and personal networking.
  • 41% of men said developing management skills was a priority compared with only 22% of women who did.
  • 37% of men and 34% of women claimed that gaining accounting and finance experience is critical to personal success.

Career satisfaction:

  • Women (48%) expressed less satisfaction with the progression of their accounting and finance careers than men (59%).
  • Women in accounting and finance ranked being challenged (35%), compensation (27%) and flexibility (12%) as the most important factors to satisfaction in their careers.
  • On the other hand, men ranked compensation (35%), being challenged (29%) and flexibility (12%) as the most important factors to satisfaction in their careers. 

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