The expanding profile of women in the accounting profession will be the focus of the first Women's Summit hosted by the Work/Life & Women's Initiatives Executive Committee of the American Institute of CPAs.

"Helping Women Professionals Succeed" is the theme of the forum, which is scheduled to be held Oct. 11 in Chicago. An opening reception sponsored by staffing firm Robert Half International will take place the evening of Oct. 10.

"Women currently make up more than 50 percent of all accounting graduates in the country," said summit chair Leslie Murphy of Plante & Moran and chair-elect of the AICPA, in a statement. "The summit will gather together firm managing partners, human resource professionals and female CPAs to share ideas and devise strategies about the retention and advancement of women in the profession."

The day's program will include panel discussions, as well as the following sessions:

  • Barriers to Advancement;
  • Overcoming Barriers to Women's Development and Advancement;
  • Different Leadership Styles;
  • Staff Retention: Retaining Your Best Employees; and,
  • Mentoring with a Women's Edge.

According to the AICPA, in 1952, there were 750 women in the accounting profession; today, there are 108,000. More information on the summit is available at

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