Shattering glass ceilings through leadership skills

Picture of staff enjoying a meeting
By Alex Burden, Professional Development Editor

21 July 2016

Gender equality has been thrown into focus this year, with a significant increase of women in powerful leadership positions.

Theresa May has recently achieved the office of Prime Minister for Great Britain, and Scotland already counts not one but three different female politicians as party leaders; Nicola Sturgeon (First Minister – SNP), Kezia Dugdale (Scottish Labour) and Ruth Davidson (Scottish Conservatives).

A recent Reuters commentary reflected that this is the year of female leaders, given that “three of the world’s six largest economic powers will be led by women”. This is dependent on Hillary Clinton taking the American Presidency, but we already have Prime Minister May at the UK’s helm and Chancellor Angela Merkel leading Germany; the latter has a considerable wealth of influence across the European continent and beyond.

Marie Claire even produced a guide to 17 inspirational female leaders around the world for its July 2016 issue, pushing female leadership into focus for young women everywhere.

Even in politics, women are still under-represented in almost every country in the world – the exceptions being Rwanda and Bolivia.

It is heartening to witness a shift towards powerful female politicians that doesn’t focus on tokenism, but what about in the workplace? What forces are still at play, hindering equal progression for the sexes and driving change for a new system? Even in politics, women are still under-represented in almost every country in the world – the exceptions being Rwanda and Bolivia.

How many female leaders do you work with? Do you aspire to be a leader? The former Acting Chief Executive of Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority, Tracey McDermott, spoke to BBC Radio 4 and highlighted that office and corporate culture should be addressed by financial institutions.

“Culture has been a key driver of some of the scandals we’ve seen in the past,” she revealed. “The heart of [the FCA’s] focus is how people and firms behave, and what they reward, and culture is a main driver.”


ICAS believes in strengthening diversity within the profession, and not just for the positive knock-on effects this would have on businesses around the world. 

Female leadership in 2017

We’re looking to run a programme throughout the UK for all female CAs on becoming a leader, or developing existing skills – if you’d like to take part please let us know your preferred city by emailing us at pd@icas.com

Topics

  • Career development
  • Leadership and management

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