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.
One hundred years ago 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, 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 society as a whole.
- 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.
A group was set up to take this forward. The current members are:
- Ana Stewart (Public Interest Council Member)
- Bruce Cartwright (ICAS CEO)
- Richard Johnman (ICAS Equalities Manager)
- Bruce McDougall (ICAS Member)
- Fran Horsburgh (ICAS Secretary)
- Hamisha Mehta (ICAS Member)
- Helen Cardno (ICAS HR Director)
- Jim Robertson (ICAS Council Member and Group Chair)
- Rimla Akhtar (ICAS Council Member)
- Sarah Speirs (ICAS Executive Director of Member Engagement and Communications)
It has been named the Guthrie Group, in honour of Isabel Clyne Guthrie.
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 Guthrie Group 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.
Join the conversation on CA Connect
To discuss the issues raised in this article, please login to the CA Connect forum, an area exclusive to members. Here you can share your thoughts on what the equality, diversity and inclusion priorities for ICAS should be in 2020, and comment on the draft statement of intent.