Jacqueline Akerblom, Grant Thornton LLP's managing partner of Women's Initiatives and Programs, has been recognized as the American Society of Women Accountants Educational Foundation's 2008 Balance Awards "Woman of the Year."

Akerblom was one of six "Individual Achievement Award" winners.  Jennifer Cavender, an audit manager at Haskell & White LLP, was also selected by ASWA's Orange County Chapter as Member of the Year and received an award at the National Association of Women Business Owners, Orange County Chapter's 2008 Remarkable Women Awards Luncheon.

Separately, Ernst & Young has honored five women entrepreneurs in its Ernst & Young Winning Women program. They included Alison Barnard, owner of in-jean-ius and Twilight, two boutiques in Boston; Jill Cartwright, president of bag designer Go GaGa, in Jamaica Plain, Mass.; Janet Chien, a principal at Dyad Systems in Cambridge, Mass., a biomedical services consultancy; Linda Smith, president of Peloton Diagnostics in Needham, Mass., which supplies medical and clinical diagnostics tools; and Kathleen Utecht, co-president of toy and game maker Green Rock Entertainment, in Chicago.

According to a recent report by the American Institute of CPAs, there are currently more female enrollees in college accounting courses, with a 52-48 ratio of females to males. At accounting firms, the popularity of part-time and flex-time programs at many firms has contributed to a growing proportion of female managers. In 2004, 43 percent of senior managers and managers were female, compared to 26 percent of senior managers and 35 percent of managers in 1993. To increase female retention at accounting firms, the AICPA recommends strategies such as mentoring, networking opportunities and visible female role models.

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