Women still lag behind men when it comes to making partner at public firms, or earning an accounting doctorate, but looking behind those numbers, there's no question that the industry continues to move towards gender parity."I don't think there's any real one obstacle," said president of the American Society of Women Accountants Debbie L. Michael. She added, "Women are doing very well in accounting, and a lot of new women are entering the profession. There's always going to be issues of balancing work and life, but if anything, a lot of men are dealing with that balance now, too. I believe there will always be the issue of equitable pay, and men advancing sooner than women, but I do think that gap continues to narrow."

According to the annual survey of public firms by the American Institute of CPAs, the profession continues to move closer to gender parity by the numbers, with 44 percent of professional staff (CPAs, prospective CPAs and others with a similar amount of academic training) being female.

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