Celebrating Women’s History
We’ve just concluded this year’s Women’s History Month. For us in the accounting industry, it is more than just another official acknowledgement on the books. It is a reminder to take notice and take action to ensure the future of our profession.
Poignantly, we lost an important trailblazer last week—Madeleine Albright, the first woman U.S. Secretary of State. Her important contributions to international affairs, courage in the face of despots, and generous spirit will no doubt inspire future generations of leaders.
In many industries, there is no playbook for women who want to reach the top of their fields. However, the lives of successful women and how they overcame the obstacles before them can offer valuable insights for those who hope to follow their lead and employers who want to create a culture that supports them.
In celebration of Women’s History Month, our Women’s Associate Resource Group compiled Marcum Women: Career Journeys, a collection of stories from 46 strong and talented women at our firm. These women, in roles ranging from paraprofessional to partner, represent the talent that makes our firm so exceptional. They opened their hearts to us as they shared the unexpected twists and turns in their careers, the challenges they faced, and the insights they gained.
We were also honored to hear from several outstanding women role models outside our Firm. Our Women’s Initiative presented a panel of six diverse women leaders in male-dominated industries, who have succeeded against some very substantial odds. And our Women’s ARG presented a discussion with Monique Doute Ferrell, retired principal deputy auditor general at the U.S. Army Audit Agency, who shared how she navigated the obstacles that came with rising through the ranks of the federal government while married to a U.S. Army general and raising two sons.
I believe conversations like this are important because, let’s face it, there is still plenty of work to be done to support women’s advancement and overall satisfaction with their careers. 42% of accountants today are women, which is a promising pipeline to future leadership in our profession. Marcum was an early adopter of flexible work arrangements, which has enabled us to attract and retain many talented women who are juggling career and family. But we recognize that this, alone, is not enough, and that it is just as important to create a culture where women, and all team members, for that matter, have a sense of belonging.
Mentorship, and sponsorship, are both parts of that. Fortunately, many members of our senior team have stepped up as allies, sharing their professional knowledge and guidance with the up-and-coming talent in our firm. We are only as strong as the opportunities we offer every team member to advance, and I am proud that so many of the leaders at Marcum have embraced that mindset.