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18
By Joseph A. Tarasco, Chief Executive Officer and Nancy A. Damato, President, Accountants Advisory Group, LLC
I
n 1896, Christine Ross took New
York's inaugural CPA Exam. Follow-
ing an 18-month delay in receiving
her scores due to her gender, Ross be-
came the first female CPA in the Unit-
ed States in 1899. Over the past 120+
years, many other notable women
have impacted the accounting profes-
sion in profound, unmistakable ways.
Today, women represent more than 50
percent of accounting graduates and
female leaders in public accounting
are much more prevalent than 20 years
ago, but women still only represent
approximately 20 percent of partners
in the nation, and progress has been
slower in attaining managing partner
and executive committee positions.
There has been much debate and
commentary as to the reasons for the
slow progress. The most recent AICPA
Trends in the Supply of Accounting
Graduates and the Demand for Pub-
lic Accounting Recruits report found
that the gap between male and female
partners in CPA firms had narrowed,
but only slightly. Another recent AICPA
firm gender survey noted that, "Despite
years of dedicated efforts to promote
women's advancement within account-
ing firms, the number of women at lead-
ership levels still comes up short."
It's interesting to note that the AICPA
survey found that women have made
the greatest inroads in attaining part-
nerships within the CPA profession at
firms with 20 accounting profession-
als or less. In fact, women make up
26 percent of sole practitioners and 43
percent of partners at firms with 2-10
professionals. That may indicate that
women who don't advance in larger
firms may establish their own firms or
move to small firms as an alternative.
Today, women
represent more
than
50 percent
of
accounting
graduates and
female leaders in
public accounting
are much more
prevalent than
20 years ago,
but
women still
only represent
approximately
20 percent
of
partners in
the nation
.
Female Accounting
Graduates
Female Accounting
Firm Partners
Women in CPA Firm Leadership
CTCPA President-elect Susan
Martinelli (left) speaks with
Executive Director Bonnie
Stewart following a CTCPA
Board of Directors meeting.
Sue takes office as CTCPA
president this spring.
Where they've been, where they're headed,
and advice for the next generation
[Editor's Note: This article is part one of two. Look for more from Joe and Nancy in Connecticut CPA this spring.]
50%
20%