ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) is paying special tribute to its first female member Ethel Ayres Purdie as it marks International Women’s Day on 8 March 2019. ACCA was the first professional accountancy body to admit a woman into membership in 1909 in the UK. Ethel went on to become the leading provider of income tax advice to women, eventually operating as the Women’s Taxpayers Agency.
International Women’s Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women – while also marking a call to action for accelerating gender balance. The global theme for this year is ‘better the balance, better the world’ – #balanceforbetter – reiterating the need for a better working world driven by gender-balance. Helen Brand OBE, ACCA’s chief executive, says: ‘On International Women’s Day we are paying tribute to our first female member Ethel Purdie, who worked tirelessly to achieve balance in the accountancy profession.
‘ACCA was established specifically to open up the profession to people of all backgrounds, based solely on their ability. As we celebrate International Women’s Day 2019, we recognise that ACCA is fortunate in our strong position when it comes to balance – 46% of ACCA members and 56% of ACCA students are women, and our Council and executive team are also balanced in terms of men and women. Opportunity and diversity are two of our core values that continue to guide our work today.
‘We believe that it’s every organisation’s responsibility to support diversity and to review and revise the way they support and open up opportunities to women – and indeed all other underrepresented groups.
‘Holding International Women’s Day every year gives us all an opportunity to take stock and make sure we’re all aware of, and addressing, any obstacles to better balance in the global workforce.’
To mark International Women’s Day, ACCA is hosting its first Ethel Ayres Purdie Lecture, a global webinar to talk about diversity. ACCA has also launched its microsite which includes interviews and profiles of women ACCA members: