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‘Balance for better’, says ACCA



ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) is paying special tribute to its first female member Ethel Ayres Purdie as it marks International Women’s Day on 8 March 2019.

ACCA was the first professional accountancy body to admit a woman into membership in 1909 in the UK. Ethel went on to become the leading provider of income tax advice to women, eventually operating as the Women’s Taxpayers Agency.
International Women’s Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women - while also marking a call to action for accelerating gender balance. The global theme for this year is ‘better the balance, better the world’ - #balanceforbetter - reiterating the need for a better working world driven by gender-balance.
Helen Brand OBE, ACCA’s chief executive, says: ‘On International Women’s Day we are paying tribute to our first female member Ethel Purdie, who worked tirelessly to achieve balance in the accountancy profession.
‘ACCA was established specifically to open up the profession to people of all backgrounds, based solely on their ability. As we celebrate International Women’s Day 2019, we recognise that ACCA is fortunate in our strong position when it comes to balance - 46% of ACCA members and 56% of ACCA students are women, and our Council and executive team are also balanced in terms of men and women. Opportunity and diversity are two of our core values that continue to guide our work today.
‘We believe that it’s every organisation’s responsibility to support diversity and to review and revise the way they support and open up opportunities to women – and indeed all other under-represented groups.
‘Holding International Women’s Day every year gives us all an opportunity to take stock and make sure we’re all aware of, and addressing, any obstacles to better balance in the global workforce.’
To mark International Women’s Day, ACCA is hosting its first Ethel Ayres Purdie Lecture, a global webinar to talk about diversity. ACCA has also launched its microsite which includes interviews and profiles of women ACCA members:
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Key facts about ACCA
ACCA has a strong commitment to gender diversity, both as a professional body and as an employer. Its Council, made up of 34 members, is represented by 21 women (61%).
  • 55% of ACCA’s senior staff are women
  • ACCA’s Executive Team is 50 / 50 balance
  • 46% of ACCA members and 56% of ACCA students are women
ACCA was the first global professional accountancy body to:
  • admit a women to membership – Ethel Ayres Purdie
  • appoint a woman president – Vera Di Palma
  • appoint a woman chief executive – Anthea Rose
  • appoint a woman from Asia Pac as its president in 2016 – Alexandra Chin
About ACCA
ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) is the global body for professional accountants, offering business-relevant, first-choice qualifications to people of application, ability and ambition around the world who seek a rewarding career in accountancy, finance and management.
ACCA supports its 208,000 members and 503,000 students in 179 countries, helping them to develop successful careers in accounting and business, with the skills required by employers. ACCA works through a network of 104 offices and centres and more than 7,300 Approved Employers worldwide, who provide high standards of employee learning and development. Through its public interest remit, ACCA promotes appropriate regulation of accounting and conducts relevant research to ensure accountancy continues to grow in reputation and influence.
ACCA has introduced major innovations to its flagship qualification to ensure its members and future members continue to be the most valued, up to date and sought-after accountancy professionals globally.
Founded in 1904, ACCA has consistently held unique core values: opportunity, diversity, innovation, integrity and accountability. More information is here:


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