By: AJ Chambers | 8 March, 2021

IWD: Women in Accountancy

For International Women’s Day, we wanted to celebrate the women in the accountancy industry. We have gathered together 5 of the UK’s top influential accountants, who just happen to be women. Here are a few reasons why we chose each one of them.


Sacha has made it onto our top 5 women in accountancy list due to the fact she was the first ever female chief executive of a major British accounting firm in 2015, running a £500m business with over 5,000 UK employees. She increased Grant Thornton’s brand awareness by 95%, the highest in the company’s history. Whilst doing this, she has encouraged diversity and equality and has achieved a 20% increase in trainees from diverse backgrounds.   


Rebecca has made it onto our top 5 females in accountancy list due to her passion and drive. She has been labelled as the ‘Best Tax Lecturer’, has worked as a chair of the ICAEW Tax Faculty and is passionate about small business issues, heading up a tax software company for small practices. Rebecca not only does all of this, but she is a small business owner herself owning an accountancy practice. Rebecca has helped a wide range of businesses, from the UK’s Treasury department to small independent businesses. 


Sharon Thorne has made it on to our list because of her huge positive impact to creating a more diverse and inclusive workplace at Deloitte. She was the first woman appointed to the UK’s firm Deloitte Executive, taking on the role as Managing Partner Talent and is now serving as the chair of the Deloitte Global Board of Directors. She has served as executive sponsor for the Deloitte UK LGBT+ network championing inclusion, and has set up a very active Women’s Network which promotes flexible working and encourages employees to be agile in their working hours and location and offer a Time Out scheme where both men and women can take up to 4 weeks unpaid leave.


Heather is on our list because of her wisdom, experience, and achievements. She has judged the British accountancy awards several times and is a member of the PSA. Heather is founder of the accountant’s millionaires club and has a large following on social media which further increases her influence. She specialises in helping professionals, usually lawyers, accountants and consultants, grow into a larger practice. 


Heather is on our influencer list as she has over 30 years’ experience in the industry, is head of tax at a FTSE 100 company, a partner at a big 4 accounting firm and is an adviser at HMRC. She is usually recognised for her creation of the ‘Women in Tax’ network and often comments on current Tax matters. Heather usually comments on these matters on BBC radio, TV and at professional conferences. 

As an industry, female representation in accountancy at board level is far off where it should be. Most leadership roles are held by men. It is no surprise that this perpetuates an ongoing bias towards appointing the same people in senior positions. The women above represent a key point of difference here where they are confidently trailblazing change in the accounting industry. We must not be shy in highlighting our strengths and our ability. International Women’s Day is a brilliant platform to bring this in to view. 

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