LAHORE: Studying accounting is not as tough as it is assumed, especially for women. The field has a bright future and a huge scope for those who want to take part and lead the corporate sector of Pakistan. The perception of how difficult accounting is for women needs to change now.
This was the crux of a round table discussion of senior female finance experts who looked at ways to enable more women enter the world of finance with the event being organised by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA).
The meeting heard that while a great many women have entered the finance profession, they account for only 20% of the most senior posts held in the sector.
“There are proven economic benefits of female participation in the work force, which in turn have a direct impact on gross domestic product (GDP) and other economic indicators. Our research shows that the benefits of having women on board include the belief that women protect business interests, and that they ensure the boards make more balanced decisions,” said Jenny Gu, ACCA Council Member. “Despite these perceptions, there is still much more that needs to be done to ensure boards are more diverse, and discussions such as these will help raise these issues up the agenda.”
Women Chamber of Commerce and Industries (WCCI) President Qaisra Sheikh said that financial security is dependent on one’s attitude and beliefs about money and willingness to take financial future in your hands. Women-run small enterprises have been unsuccessful in attaining the status of medium or large enterprises due to gender specific blockade and financial impediments. While speaking about the solutions, Sheikh highlighted that women should invest in their education particularly in financial management.
“Gender diversity requires commitment at all levels, it must cascade from the board down to the basic unit in an organisation”, said Roshaneh Zafar, Managing Director at Kashf Foundation. “There is no doubt that there is a strong business case for including women in corporate decision making,” she added.
The experts said that following the modern world, Pakistani women need to get better position, with equal opportunities.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 19th, 2014.