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Diversity and ICAEW

We are committed to diversity in the Chartered Accountancy profession and at ICAEW. We believe the profession, and our own organisation, does best when it reflects the society we serve.

Ethnic origin

We are proud to have an ethnically diverse workforce spread across many different countries. We recruit according to merit; you are welcome to view our recruitment policy and current vacancies.

Mental health, financial and personal support

CABA provides lifelong support to ICAEW Chartered Accountants and their dependents. It is an independent registered charity and not part of ICAEW.

CABA is staffed by professionals who are experts in their field. Support is free, impartial and strictly confidential. CABA offers legal, benefit and debt advice, financial assistance, and support for your physical and mental health both at home and in your professional life. If you need support, call +44 (0)1788 556 366 or visit the website for more information.

LGBT support

We encourage an inclusive environment in the profession for all members of the LGBT community. ICAEW provides secretarial support to the Professional Services LGBT Group, which brings together diversity leaders of the major accountancy firms for quarterly exchanges of best practice and liaison with Stonewall.

We treat all employees and volunteer members with respect and dignity, free from discrimination or harassment. We aim to provide a positive working environment through our anti bullying and harassment policy. We have an internal champion of LGBT rights and an internal LGBT networking group. As an organisation we measure ourselves against the Stonewall index every year.

Social mobility

We work in the public interest and promote social mobility in the profession and beyond.

Our partnership with the Community Foundation includes the newly established ICAEW Social Mobility Fund which supports projects to improve social mobility in black communities, providing support and inspiration to those with aspiration and ability but are disadvantaged

We are founders of Access Accountancy, which offers work experience placements for disadvantaged students to improve access to the accountancy profession. By committing to measurable outcomes we hope to deliver real change and welcome talented and ambitious young people from all backgrounds.

We work closely with schools, colleges and universities to engage with young people and inform them of the career options in accounting and finance. These activities include our BASE competition for students aged 16-19. Students can engage in a business challenge that enables them to develop key employment skills and understand what it’s like to be an ICAEW Chartered Accountant.

We have also worked extensively on a Best Practice Internship Code. We signed up to the last Government’s social mobility compact and have started to measure the social background of our new students.

We have developed a number of non-graduate routes into the profession in recent years, including flexible programmes that offer a Bachelor's and/or Master's Degree.

Gender diversity

We realised some years ago that we were losing many of our women members when they took career breaks. We have taken steps to retain our members during breaks and re-introduce them to full-time work through our Back to the Workplace programme. We have also created the Comeback Community for members returning to work. We survey members and track their salaries to monitor progress on the gender pay gap.

We saw that women were not reaching the top roles often enough, and so we created the Women in Leadership programme to address this problem. It has a strong personal development focus and seeks to refine and craft the participant’s individual leadership style. 

We are currently working with Government and other professions on a white paper on the more general issues for women in work. One of ICAEW's executive directors has given evidence to the Women and Equalities select committee on the subject of women in executive management.

We also offer free resources to our members on women in finance, in business, and on the gender gap. ICAEW continues to offer thought leadership to facilitate effective dialogue in corporate governance.

Diversity community

In 2018, ICAEW became a signatory of HM Treasury's Women in Finance Charter, pledging to  have 40% women in senior management by March 2020. The ICAEW Diversity community supports firms and individuals in promoting and protecting diversity. Join the community to find resources, contacts and guidance for your circumstances.