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This past Saturday, the Houston Affiliate of theAmerican Woman’s Society of CPAs (AWSCPA)hosted its 33rdAnnual Seminar. This year's seminar was notably headlined by a panel of the Houston Office Managing Partners of the Big 4 Accounting firms, who are for the first time all women.

Anne Taylor of Deloitte, Niloufar Molavi of PwC, Deborah Byers of EY, and Tandra Jackson of KPMG each discussed their individual experiences in the accounting profession, as well as their culturally-diverse backgrounds. The women discussed the challenges they faced moving up through firms where nearly all leadership roles were filled by men, particularly in Houston, where much of the economy is based on the male-dominated oil and gas industry.

“It’s about talent," Byers said during the panel discussion, per a press release. "It’s about reaching into the largest, most diverse talent pool. If you can’t reach into 50%+ of the talent pool, you’re going to miss out on some of the best ideas, some of the best leaders."

The women also cited how more than half of individuals entering the profession are women, yet women in leadership roles are scarce. They focused on the need for firms to take action to support women talent in the profession for the continued success of firms. 

For more information on the American Woman’s Society of CPAs, head to their site here