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Survey says career satisfaction low among women in accounting

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November 4, 2010

A new survey reports that 47 percent of women in accounting and finance are satisfied with their careers and only 19 percent believe they are equally compensated for their work.

The survey, released by The Mergis Group, a professional placement firm, polled 353 working adults ages 20 and older. It found that women are less satisfied with the progression of their accounting and finance careers than men. Specifically, 60 percent of male workers in accounting and finance consider themselves to be satisfied, as opposed to 47 percent of women.

The women in the survey ranked being challenged (31 percent), compensation (25 percent) and flexibility (15 percent) as the most important factors in career satisfaction. Men, however, ranked compensation (32 percent), being challenged (26 percent) and flexibility (15 percent) as the most important factors to their career satisfaction.

While only 19 percent of women surveyed believe they are equally compensated for their work as compared to their male counterparts, 52 percent of the survey’s men reported this to be true.

And not surprisingly, when asked if female accounting and finance workers face a different set of career challenges compared to male counterparts, 73 percent of women agreed, while a much smaller percentage of men agreed – 35 percent.

Additionally, half of the women surveyed believe the accounting and finance profession do not have enough role models in the field, as compared to 31 percent of men.

Comments (2)
Thanks, Rita. I asked my followers on Twitter too if they agreed with this survey and one responded "Comp is still an issue." I think it's interesting (though not surprising) that the male and female respondents were so varying on whether their challenges were different. I think there are many issues that each share, but then a whole set of issues that are separate. The key for firms, and I think more are doing it these days, is to talk about the differences - without generalizing. Tough, but necessary.
Posted by lizgold | Thursday, November 04 2010 at 5:04PM ET
I don't believe that most of us are surprised at this survey. I continually talk with females in the accounting profession who are extremely frustrated (with a lot of things).

I find the biggest issue is that they are caught in the "sandwich generation." They are taking care of aging partners and nurturing young, millennial CPAs who need a lot of attention. They are over-worked and under-appreciated.
Posted by rkeller | Thursday, November 04 2010 at 4:50PM ET
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