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ACCA and CA ANZ’s CEOs share their inspirational journeys for International Women’s Day 2021


05 Mar 2021



Helen Brand OBE, chief executive of ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) and Ainslie Van Onselen, CEO of CA ANZ (Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand) share their challenges, successes, and personal experiences in becoming CEOs in a global webinar.

For International Women’s Day, 8 March 2021, ACCA is inviting audiences to hear from two successful female business leaders Helen Brand OBE, chief executive of ACCA and Ainslie Van Onselen, CEO of CA ANZ in a unique conversation as a celebration of the global event.

On Monday 8 March at 9am GMT, the webinar, titled ‘Inclusion in action: a conversation with Helen Brand and Ainslie Van Onselen’, will enable listeners to hear their personal career journeys and gain great insight and advice. Award-winning journalist, public speaker and author Poorna Bell will host the webinar, which will delve into several themes including:

  • advice on getting to the top
  • overcoming challenges
  • Covid-19 and balancing home and work
  • equality and the future.

Helen Brand says: ‘International Women’s Day is where globally we celebrate women’s achievements while highlighting inequality and the work that still needs to be done. Through the prisms of our first-hand experiences as women leaders, our conversation in this webinar will dig deeper into inclusion in action and explore experiences of overcoming inequality.’

ACCA is inviting everyone to join the event as these leaders share fascinating insights. ACCA has a strategic alliance with CA ANZ since 2016 to shape and lead the future of our profession together.

Helen Brand concludes: ‘Overcoming barriers to equality remains one of the world’s greatest challenges. As we share our experiences, our event aims to strengthen the ways in which we can work together to reimagine own careers and progression to promote diversity.’

Register for the event here, on 8 March 2021 and on demand:

ACCA Facts:

  • Ethel Ayres Purdie became ACCA’s first woman member in 1909 – the first woman to be admitted to an accountancy body in the UK.
  • ACCA’s first woman president was Vera Di Palma in 1980.
  • Alexandra Chin was ACCA’s first woman president from ASEAN ANZ (Malaysia) in 2015 / 16.
  • Jenny Gu was ACCA’s first woman president from Greater China in 2019 / 2020.
  • ACCA appointed its first woman chief executive, Anthea Rose in 1993.
  • Helen Brand is ACCA’s second woman chief executive, appointed in 2008.

ACCA’s Council

  • 23/40 female = 57.5%
  • 17/40 male = 42.5%

ACCA’s Council Board

  • 5/9 female = 56%
  • 4/9 male = 44%

ACCA’s employee gender statistics globally

60% female

40% male

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For media enquiries, contact:

Monique McKenzie


M: +44 (0)7725 613 447

Twitter: @ACCANews

About ACCA: ACCA is the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants. We’re a thriving global community of 227,000 members and 544,000 future members based in 176 countries and regions that upholds the highest professional and ethical values.

We believe that accountancy is a cornerstone profession of society that supports both public and private sectors. That’s why we’re committed to the development of a strong global accountancy profession and the many benefits that this brings to society and individuals.

Since 1904 being a force for public good has been embedded in our purpose. And because we’re a not-for-profit organisation, we build a sustainable global profession by re-investing our surplus to deliver member value and develop the profession for the next generation.

Through our world leading ACCA Qualification, we offer everyone everywhere the opportunity to experience a rewarding career in accountancy, finance and management. And using our respected research, we lead the profession by answering today’s questions and preparing us for tomorrow.

Find out more about us at


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