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There are now more women than men staffing finance departments within Australian companies according to a new survey.

Conducted for recruitment firm Robert Half Finance & Accounting, the survey revealed that 60 per cent of respondents employed more women than men in their finance department.

Of the companies taking part in the survey, 81 per cent said opportunities to reach management level were equal for both women and men.

However, 40 per cent of respondents believed men were more motivated about getting ahead than women.

“Since the beginning of 2003 more than 56 percent of staff placed in finance positions by Robert Half Finance & Accounting have been women,” said Nicole Gorton, Sydney branch manager of Robert Half Finance & Accounting.

Other countries with a high percentage of women in finance include New Zealand, France and the Czech Republic.

Yet balancing the responsibilities of home and work is still considered a major issue for women climbing the ladder in the finance world.

Ms Gorton said in recognition of this, Robert Half Finance & Accounting were sponsoring a program run by CPA Australia (Certified Practicing Accountants) called “Babes in Arms” designed to assist women with children to re-enter

the finance profession.

Tracy Keys is one of those who returned to the finance profession after having a child. A commercial support manager, Ms Key’s son is now in Year 6.

“I don’t believe being a woman disadvantages or advantages me in my ability to perform a finance role, everyone in finance needs to be able to balance emotional intelligence with a real head for business,” said Ms Keys.