EY leads accountancy firms for women in leadership roles in figures published today by The Managing Partners’ Forum

Career Climbers / 11th July 2016

EY heads the inaugural MPF Women in Leadership table with 34% of its senior leadership roles held by women.

In what is a first for any UK industry sector, The Managing Partners’ Forum (MPF) has published definitive statistics of women in leadership roles based on data provided by all ten accountancy firms with annual UK revenues in excess of £100m and combined UK revenues of some £11bn. A 100% sample is more reliable than any survey as there is no need to adjust for perceived bias by respondents.

Leadership roles included in the statistics are senior and managing partners (or equivalent), those on the firm’s executive committee, those leading client-facing business units and functional leaders (such as the heads of HR and marketing).

EY tops the table, followed by KPMG, PwC and Deloitte, all with more than 30% of leadership roles held by women. Three firms are between 25% and 30% (Grant Thornton, Smith & Williamson and BDO), with just three fewer than 25% (RSM, Mazars and Moore Stephens). 

MPF Women in Leadership – TOP 10 ACCOUNTANCY FIRMS

 

Accountancy firm

Leadership gender balance (%)

1

EY

34.1

2

KPMG

32.1

3

PwC

31.7

4

Deloitte

31.6

5

Grant Thornton

28.6

6

Smith & Williamson

27.0

7

BDO

26.6

8

RSM

21.6

9

Mazars

18.8

10

Moore Stephens

15.8

 

Overall

28.4

Data as at 15 May 2016

The results follow the news this week that the Rt, Hon. Nicky Morgan MP, the Minister for Women and Equalities, launched a review on improving female representation in leadership positions of British business, broadening the ambition to the entire FTSE 350 and raising the target to 33% of women on boards by 2020.

On these results, MPF Founder & CEO Richard Chaplin said:  “The accountancy profession is ready to help the review having already achieved 28.4% of women in leadership roles. The overall gender balance of 28.4% confirms that accountancy firms are stand-out pioneers and MPF urges the leadership teams at professional firms to share knowledge with their peers over ways to grow and sustain high levels of women in leadership.” 

Drilling into the data, women account for 10% of CEOs (Sacha Romanovitch at Grant Thornton), 22% of executive committee members, 24% of business unit leaders and 51% of functional heads. This compares with 8% (CEOs), 8% (executive committee) and 9% (functional heads) at UK organisations, according to a survey conducted by Grant Thornton International.

Steve Varley, Chairman and UK & Ireland Managing Partner at EY, said: “Put simply, a diverse and inclusive organisation delivers competitive advantage. Our belief in the value it can deliver is so strong that it sits front and centre of our business, which is paying dividends. We have seen an improved representation of all diverse talent among our leadership team, testament to the focus we place on creating an inclusive environment where everyone can achieve their potential.

“Now more than ever, the UK needs to signal to the rest of the world that diversity and inclusion is a core business principle that is key to fuelling growth.”

The MPF table, which will be updated annually, also provides aggregate gender balance across 14 management functions, including finance, marketing, HR and technology. The range is dramatic with 90% of heads of learning being women but only 11% COOs. Comparative statistics are provided for other industry sectors, based on UK and global surveys, conducted by Oliver Wyman in collaboration with the 30% Club and by Grant Thornton International.

The tables in full:

MPF Women in Leadership – TOP 10 ACCOUNTANCY FIRMS

 

Accountancy firm

Leadership gender balance (%)

Gender of managing partner/

CEO

Gender of senior partner/ chair

Executive Committee gender balance (%)

Client-facing business unit leader gender balance (%)

Functional head gender balance (%)

1

EY

34.1

M

M

40.0

27.9

61.5

2

KPMG

32.1

M

M

27.8

22.7

57.1

3

PwC

31.7

M

M

42.9

25.0

54.5

4

Deloitte

31.6

M

M

25.0

27.9

63.6

5

Grant Thornton

28.6

F

M

16.7

14.3

53.8

6

Smith & Williamson

27.0

M

M

11.1

25.0

50.0

7

BDO

26.6

M

M

13.6

18.5

69.2

8

RSM

21.6

M

M

14.3

20.0

37.5

9

Mazars

18.8

M

M

0.0

28.6

22.2

10

Moore Stephens

15.8

M

M

12.5

20.0

12.5

 

Overall

28.4

10.0

0.0

22.3

23.9

50.9

Data as at 15 May 2016

MPF Women in Leadership – TOP 10 ACCOUNTANCY FIRMS – by role

Role

UK accountancy firms – gender balance (%)  – MPF data

UK organisations – gender balance (%) – Grant Thornton data

Global organisations – gender balance (%) – Grant Thornton data

Global Financial services – gender balance (%) – Oliver Wyman data

CEO

10

8

9

8

Chair

0

0

2

 

Executive Committee

22

8

12

16

Business unit leaders

24

 

 

14

Functional heads

51

9

13

24

·         Business development

50

 

 

 

·         Communications

88

 

 

 

·         Digital

33

 

 

 

·         Facilities

25

 

 

 

·         Finance

20

11

21

14

·         HR

67

20

23

45

·         Knowledge

86

 

 

 

·         Learning

90

 

 

 

·         Marketing

75

6

11

45

·         Operations

11

5

8

12

·         Risk

60

 

 

15

·         Sales

40

8

8

 

·         Strategy

50

 

 

 

·         Technology

20

1

4

12

 

 

 

Average

Range

Size of Executive Committee

12

7 to 22

Number of business units

28

14 to 61

Number of functional heads

11

8 to 14

Number of women in leadership roles per firm

15

6 to 31

     

 

 

 

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