What inspired you to become an ICAEW Chartered Accountant?
I was inspired by the respect, prestige and wealth of opportunities that the qualification brings, including the ability to work in any sector around the world. It truly is a world passport.
Thinking about specific people or experiences, what helped you to get to where you are today and how?
Having a good support system of family, friends and colleagues who helped me in my early days during exams and training was crucial. In my case, it was particularly challenging as I was going through my training contract as a young mother whilst raising a toddler. My self-belief and resilience were the most important ingredients to get me to where I am today. I do not undervalue the power of mentors and coaches who are part of my career footprint to date.
What actions can we all take to become workplace allies and what does this mean to you?
Removing prejudice, being genuinely interested in each other’s development and being open to see individual talents can help us to highlight each person’s strengths, even when they are not in the room. That way, everyone becomes visible and more likely to be awarded the opportunities and progression that they deserve. People from all walks of life and with varying abilities can thrive. No one will be left behind.
One of ICAEW’s strategic themes is ‘strengthening the profession by attracting talent and building diversity’. Why do you think this is important?
It is important because if the profession is accessible to a population of people with varying abilities, it can eventually benefit the wider economy and society. It means we will have ICAEW Chartered Accountants who truly represent the society we live in.
My self-belief and resilience were the most important ingredients to get me to where I am today
How do you think the profession is becoming more diverse?
The profession is becoming more diverse through accessibility in various jurisdictions and being marketed more widely. The fact that I was an immigrant primarily educated in another continent, but able to enrol and obtain a training contract in the early 2000s, is testament to this. I now serve on the ICAEW Members and Commercial Board, to further the strategic objective of diversity and inclusion.
What would you like to see more of in the future of accountancy?
I would like to see greater leadership so that more people with diverse backgrounds and abilities gain access to the profession.
What one piece of advice would you give to someone thinking of joining the profession?
Exams will be challenging. It is all very achievable if you put in the hard work. Be curious, feel the fear but do it anyway.