CA magazine: March 2020
Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai once said, “A diverse mix of voices leads to better discussions, decisions and outcomes for everyone.”
His words are echoed by many successful businesspeople. And socio-economics is on their side: according to an eight-year study from MIT, the most profitable workplaces are those which are the most diverse, in terms of gender, race and class.
A World Economic Forum report has discovered a “connection between financial performance, value creation and the presence of women and other under-represented groups”. That’s the headline for 2020, then – diversity or bust.
At ICAS, we are also committed to a culture of equality, diversity and inclusion. We have a long history of it. In 1919, the UK passed legislation to remove any legal impediment to women becoming members of any professional organisation, including ICAS; our first female CA, Isabel Clyne Guthrie, joined us in 1923. Today, 34% of ICAS members and 44% of students are female. But we need to do more to improve diversity, not only at ICAS, but across the profession.
That is why, in December, we formed the Guthrie Group, named in her honour, to further these principles and accelerate a culture of balance. It has drafted a mission statement and is looking for your feedback: “ICAS places 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 is beneficial for all, and that enables our communities to learn, grow and advance together.”
This month’s issue features a diversity standard-bearer. The BBC’s former China Editor, Carrie Gracie, made headlines for resigning over gender pay discrimination – before returning to a chastened BBC on a more equal salary. Author and CEO Niamh O’Keeffe, meanwhile, outlines why, even in this age of disruption, business leaders have nothing to fear but fear itself.
In this issue, we also hear from Sir Donald Brydon about the future of audit and speak to three CAs who are keeping the world of motorsport’s engines running. In addition, you’ll discover why Forth Ports are thriving in the face of Brexit uncertainty and why we need business to take a lead on sustainability.
Enjoy the issue, and we’d love to hear your thoughts on making accountancy a better, more equitable place for all. Join us on CA Connect – our exclusive online forum - today to share your thoughts and discuss further with fellow CAs.
This article first appeared in the March 2020 issue of CA magazine.