Embedding a culture of equality, diversity and inclusion
The adoption, promotion and embedding of a culture of equality, diversity and inclusion is a priority for ICAS.
On 23 December 1919, the UK passed legislation to remove any legal impediment to women becoming members of ICAS or any other professional organisation. The first female CA, Isabel Clyne Guthrie, was admitted as a member in 1923.
We have come a long way since then, and much has changed. However, we still have far to go in embedding a culture of equality, diversity and inclusion in our profession.
At its meeting in December 2019, the ICAS Council decided that the adoption, promotion and embedding of a culture of equality, diversity and inclusion should be a priority. This makes it a core strand of all ICAS thinking and business strategy, acting as a catalyst for change in the profession generally.
The following benefits were identified.
Benefits for ICAS:
- A diverse membership that reflects the whole of society.
- Increased commercial opportunities through training, events and consultancy.
- Greater understanding by ICAS professionals of our aims.
- Increased influence with governments and other professional bodies.
- Increased brand awareness.
Benefits for the profession:
- Retain and ensure the relevance of the profession.
- Changing the perception of accountancy by creating a career of choice which attracts and retains the best talent from all backgrounds.
- Successfully competing for talent and tackling skills shortages.
- Better understanding of the needs of clients and customers.
- A profession representative of wider society, with an enhanced external reputation.
The ED+I Committee
The ED+I Committee (formerly known as the Guthrie Group) was set up to take this forward. The current members are:
- Tracey Rob Perera CA (Chair)
- Jim Robertson CA
- Bruce McDougall CA
- Rimla Akhtar CA
- Hamisha Mehta CA
- Marta Phillips CA
- Kudzai Zendara CA
- Liz Jessop CA
- Mahrouf Shafi CA
- Arjan Bains, CA Student
- Gary Motherwell CA
- Ronnie Jamieson CA
- Bruce Cartwright (ICAS CEO)
- Helen Cardno (ICAS HR Director)
- Sarah Speirs (ICAS Executive Director of Member Engagement and Communications)
ICAS Members were invited to share their views on what the equality, diversity and inclusion priorities for ICAS should be in 2020, and to comment on a draft statement of intent. Taking on board all the feedback received, at its meeting in September 2020, the Committee finalised the ICAS statement of intent:
ICAS is committed to placing equality, diversity and inclusion at the heart of all that we do. With our partner organisations, we are committed to building a diverse membership and workforce that reflects and advances the communities we serve. We aspire to lead our profession in addressing these challenges, so that we can learn, grow and advance together.