Women in Finance

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.

Women in Finance (contd)

“The survey results indicate an attitude that pre-judges women and helps

maintain a glass ceiling at the executive level,” she said.”There is something real and palpable, even if invisible, which is keeping

proportionate numbers of women in Australia from reaching the highest

echelons of leadership.”

“I have a son who is in Year 6 and I juggle being a mother and a finance

professional by being extremely motivated, ruthless about balancing my life

with my work life and having a very supportive partner.

“I think a lot more could be done by business around working from home – and

not just for women with children. Working remotely will only become an

acceptable mode of work if everyone does it and people learn to manage a

remote workforce.”

“My advice to women wanting to succeed in the world of finance is to build

relationships with people, both within and outside your workplace. Also, be

creative with ways to maximise your productivity – use technology to work

while you commute or when at home and most of all – work smart,” Ms Keys


Story by Kate Southam, editor of CareerOne. You will find other stories like

this in the Finance &

Accounting – one of 15 industry-specific news and job search areas on

the site. To view the entire list of industries go to

www.careerone.com.au and then click on “News from your industry” under the Top Stories section in the middle of the home page. Send job hunting and workplace questions to editor@careerone.com.au

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