The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) report Key Facts and Trends in the Accountancy Profession finds that the UK audit and accountancy profession lags behind other UK business sectors when it comes to diversity at the top of its organisations. It also discovered that a third of UK audit and accountancy firms do not even record diversity data on their workforce.

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Although women and ethnic minority groups are increasingly being appointed to middle management roles in the profession, the FRC calls for more to be done to help these people progress to the top of their organisations. Women, for example, make up 46% of manager level roles at audit and accountancy firms, but only 17% of partner level roles.

The FRC is now calling on the accountancy profession to take steps to address this imbalance and it is encouraging firms to sign up to the UK Government’s Equalities Office pledge, which is challenging business leaders to take personal responsibility for promoting better diversity and inclusion in their own workplaces.

“The business case for improved diversity has been made and now it’s time for the audit and accountancy profession to take further positive action,” explains Sir Jon Thompson, Chief Executive of the FRC.

“While it is encouraging to see more firms implementing diversity and inclusion strategies and more women, ethnic minority groups and disabled people being appointed to middle management roles, more needs to be done to ensure the firms are not limiting access to the most senior roles.”

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