The career outlook for women in finance and accounting has improved in the last 10 years, according to a new survey of CFOs by the staffing company Robert Half.

The survey found that 42 percent of the CFOs polled said the ability of women in the finance field to advance through the ranks is better now than 10 years ago. Only 4 percent of the more than 2,100 CFOs surveyed said there are fewer opportunities for women.

“Many organizations have made great strides in promoting female professionals in accounting and finance to the executive ranks, but there’s more to do,” said Robert Half senior executive director Paul McDonald in a statement. “Ensuring a diverse staff and attracting and retaining top talent should be an ongoing priority. Offering work/life balance programs can be attractive incentives for employees with children, for instance.”   

The survey findings are being released in advance of the 2013 Accounting & Financial Women’s Alliance (AFWA) Annual Conference, being held Oct. 20-23 in Indianapolis. Robert Half’s Accountemps and Robert Half Finance & Accounting divisions are the Exclusive Staffing Visionary Partners of AFWA and have been alliance partners since 1996.

“In partnership with Robert Half, AFWA is focused on increasing diversity and gender equity at every level of the profession—from entry-level accountant to CFO,” said AFWA executive director Lee K. Lowery. “We want all employees to feel valued where they are employed, while having access to networking opportunities, leadership development and education.”

As part of AFWA’s conference, Robert Half has assisted with planning for the Executive Host Tour portion of “Preparing for Your Future in Accounting & Finance,” a day-long event for students. The Executive Host Tour will give college students an opportunity to visit a Big Four accounting firm and learn what it’s like to work there.

Sessions presented by Robert Half during the conference will include “2014 Accounting and Finance Hiring and Compensation Outlook” and “Smartphones, Email, Social Networks – Oh, My! Effectively Navigating Protocols in the Digital Age.” Free continuing professional education credit is available for attendees of these sessions.