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Sharon Spice appointed new Access Accountancy chair as ICAEW and the profession continue diversity push

Author: ICAEW

Published: 16 Apr 2021

Sharon Spice, ICAEW’s Director of Global Student Recruitment, has been appointed chair of Access Accountancy, strengthening the Institute’s drive to promote equality in the profession.
  • Sharon Spice replaces Mark Protherough as Access Accountancy chair 
  • ICAEW hires two diversity and inclusion managers to boost equality in profession 


Access Accountancy, a registered charity established in 2014, is a collaboration of more than 25 accountancy firms and professional bodies dedicated to improving access and progression within accountancy for people from lower socio-economic backgrounds. 

Sharon was previously steering group chair at Access Accountancy and replaces Mark Protherough, who stepped down following his departure from ICAEW last month. She will serve in the role for three years. 

ICAEW took over project management of Access Accountancy from KPMG in October 2020. 

Meanwhile, ICAEW has also appointed two Diversity and Inclusion Managers as part of its ongoing commitment to reducing inequalities and widening participation. Dr Antonia Sudkaemper and Sara Najjuma will support teams across the organisation to develop strategies and initiatives to improve equality of opportunity for colleagues, members and students.   

Antonia is based in ICAEW’s Education and Training department and will oversee the organisation’s ambition to widen access to accountancy. 

Sara is based in ICAEW’s Human Resources department and will provide insight, guidance, and support in developing departmental and organisation-wide strategies to promote diversity and inclusion.  

Sharon Spice, ICAEW Director of Global Student Recruitment and Chair of Access Accountancy, said:  

“I’m delighted to have been elected the new chair of Access Accountancy. Our profession has continued to show commitment to work experience and improving social mobility during a challenging period, and we are excited about this next stage of the Access Accountancy journey and encouraging more organisations to join. 

“We’ve taken steps to build a more diverse and inclusive profession over the past decade, but we are committed to reducing the inequalities that still exist within ICAEW and the profession. Antonia and Sara will be key to strengthening this work and ensuring it is aligned across all our activities, and we are pleased to have welcomed them to the organisation.” 

ICAEW has been involved in a number of initiatives to boost diversity, inclusion and equality in the profession. In March, Chief Executive Michael Izza was appointed to a new government-backed taskforce, run by the City of London Corporation, designed to break down socio-economic barriers at senior levels across the UK. 

Last year ICAEW and the larger accounting firms piloted RISE, a programme offering young people from socially-disadvantaged backgrounds skills to help prepare them for life and work experience. 


Notes to editors:  
Dr Antonia Sudkaemper 

Antonia has joined ICAEW from Cambridge Assessment, where she led on diversity and inclusion projects and researched topics including gender pay gap data. In her work as a consultant, she has advised the Cabinet Office on women’s career progression and allyship. 

Sara Najjuma  

Sara has joined ICAEW from Tritek Consulting where she was responsible for data analysis, facilitating discussions and delivering training programmes and events to foster an inclusive culture where all people can succeed. She has also developed diversity and inclusion strategies at two London councils. 

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