Blog

2017

Opportunities for women as Chartered Accountant

It has been increasingly noticed that women have walked shoulder to shoulder with men in all fields be it defence, engineering, space research etc. The field of chartered accountancy is no exception to this trend. The huge scope and opportunities in the field of accountancy has attracted many women to enter and excel in the traditionally male-dominated bastion. According to data provided by the ICAI, 24.39% of ICAI's total members are women which totals to 68,339 up till October 2017. Similarly, 40% of the active students of ICAI are female candidates. These figures indicate that women are giving tough competition to male counterparts in the accounting field.

Remembering the very first woman Chartered Accountant:

The esteemed place of the First woman Chartered Accountant in India is held by Ms. R. Sivabhogam. She was also the first lady to occupy the post of Chairperson of Southern India Regional Council of ICAI (then Madras Regional Council), which she held for three consecutive years. A freedom fighter and avid follower of Mahatma Gandhi, Ms. R. Sivabhogam participated in Non-Cooperation movement and spent a year in imprisonment. It was while in the jail she developed keen interest in accounting field. Subsequently, after she was released from jail, she became the first woman accountant in India in the year 1933.

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Sivabhogam became member of ICAI in the year 1949 upon its formation in the same year. In 1950 she became the fellow and was elected as a member in the very first year of the formation of the Southern India Regional Council (then Madras Regional Council). She also held the post of the chairperson of Madras Regional Council from 1955 to 1958.

Opportunities for Female Chartered Accountants:

As we know, Chartered Accountancy offers many career opportunities for women. Career in chartered accountancy is equally beneficial whether a candidate is looking for escalation in a corporate job, great financial rewards or self-employment opportunities. Let us see some of the areas where a female candidate can work and excel:

1. Greater Flexibility with Self Employment Opportunity:

The career path of a woman is often different from her male counterpart as she has a greater responsibility towards her family. She may have to take a break from career when she has young children to rear. In other words, work-life balance is more critical for women as compared to men. Chartered Accountancy is a career path which provides greater flexibility in terms of self-employment as compared to other fields. A qualified CA can start her own accountancy practice or simply take consulting assignments as per her convenience.

2. Scope in Academics:

Qualified CAs are also in great demand in education field be it universities or private coaching institutions. A qualified CA can earn pretty well without investing must time into the profession. Hence, managing work-life balance would be easier than ever.

3. Job Opportunity in the Traditional Areas of Accounting:

It goes without saying that scope and demand for CAs in Taxation and Audit are ever increasing. It would not be difficult for a female candidate to find a job in some good company in taxation or audit profiles. Moreover, she can switch between job and self-employment without reflecting any career break in the resume.

4. Opportunity at the top management positions:

Demand for female executives at top management positions like CEO, CFO, Vice-president etc is on the rise. Being a qualified chartered accountant will prove to be an additional advantage as no one understands a business more deeply than a chartered accountant. The qualified women CA have greater chance to get selected at board level positions as compared to their non-CA counterparts. Hence, being a CA is of great value at top management positions.

Conclusion:

Women have excelled in all fields including traditionally male-dominated fields like engineering or space science. However, considering the work-life balance requirement of women, chartered accountancy proves to be the best career path for women. Chartered Accountancy is the only career choice which provides great career opportunity in terms of entrepreneurship as well as in employment sector. It offers good financial rewards without compromising work-life balance. Hence, it is not an exaggeration to say that chartered accountancy is the best career choice for women.

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