Creating an inclusive profession

The accountancy profession is finally putting inclusivity at the top of the agenda.

ICAEW has launched a ‘Welcome Inclusion’ campaign, to help provide its members with the practical tools to drive inclusion across the profession.

The moveis long overdue. Remember, when it comes to practice just 4.5% of partners are from ethnic minority backgrounds. The ICAEW also doesn’t seem to be able to attract as many women as the other accountancy bodies.

The campaign will focus on three themes –belonging, allyship and fairness – and uses a variety of formats to give members tools and ideas to drive inclusion at their firms.

‘Welcome Inclusion’ launches with a short film featuring a diverse group of 30 ICAEW members and students who discuss their experiences, what inclusion means to them, and the role of unconscious behaviours in exclusion. In the video they participate in training on workplace encounters, and how these can be approached differently to ensure everyone is included.

During the campaign, some resources will be tailored to people at different career stages. The resources will give members tips on how to create a culture of inclusion, such as by implementing diversity and inclusion training, and videos will bring this to life.

Michael Izza, ICAEW CEO, said: “ICAEW is committed to helping our members thrive in their professional development throughout their careers.

“We are currently delivering industry progression by increasing access to the profession and removing complex and sometimes invisible social barriers.”

More resources will be released over the next few months and will be available to non-members as well as ICAEW Chartered Accountants.

Visit ICAEW’s Diversity and Inclusion hub for more information.

Recent research from the ACCA found that 73% of respondents globally thought the profession was inclusive. However, just 63% of respondents in the UK felt the profession was inclusive, compared to 76% in Ireland and 86% in Nigeria.

The ACCA Inclusion Report stressed: “While we might believe that we represent a profession that is open to all, that belief may itself come from a perspective of privilege.”

It went on: “The profession cannot afford to be complacent: rather, it must continue to focus on the issue, to ensure that we continue to reach out to all communities, to represent social justice and equity through our values and ethics. We need to encourage people of all backgrounds and characteristics to join the diverse profession and to continue to educate ourselves as well as educating and supporting others.”

Inclusion, along with integrity and innovation is one of ACCA’s three core values.

The report reminds us that we must treat people as they wish to be treated rather than how you would wish to be treated.  We also have to welcome ideas that are different from your own, and you must be prepared to speak up.

You can read the report at: