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Diversity in the profession

Diversity through outreach

Author: ICAEW

Published: 03 Dec 2020


Why is outreach important?

The profession needs to ensure it is reaching a diverse range of people through its attraction activity. This will ensure that all young people, regardless of background, can make an informed decision about whether chartered accountancy is the right career for them. 

What outreach is happening?

BDO Black Heritage Insight Programme 

BDO are committed to building a culture of diversity and belonging. They believe everyone deserves an opportunity to explore the roles available at BDO, and in accounting more broadly, which is why they have created their Black Heritage Insights programme - for students of Black heritage who are currently underrepresented in our industry. 

The programme will take place in July 2021, during this time students will complete a week-long virtual insight experience where they will develop knowledge of accounting and gain exposure to BDO, their people and their culture, which could lead to an offer of a 2022 summer internship or a paid role as a university Brand Ambassador.  

The aim is to foster Black undergraduate talent at BDO so there is the opportunity to secure a graduate role after a summer internship with the firm. 

Find out more

Explore BDO Virtual Insight Programme 

BDO believe that socio-economic background should not determine career success, so as part of their commitment to ensure access to the world of accountancy, they are offering students from low socio-economic backgrounds the opportunity to gain insight into the accountancy careers available at BDO. 

Explore BDO Virtual Insight week runs from 5th – 9th July and is open to year 10 – 12 students who attend a state school and have been eligible for free school meals; or would be the first in their family to attend university. 

It is the perfect opportunity aspiring accountants to learn more about the world of accounting and provides them with a chance to develop professional skills and meet people from all across the business. 

BDO will host a virtual workshop to help applicants prepare for the programme by providing hints and tips for the final stage of the application process, the online test.

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New Gen Accountants  

New Gen Accountants was set up by a group of forward-thinking accountants who are committed to providing individuals from underrepresented backgrounds with the knowledge needed to pursue a career in accountancy.  

They are passionate about ensuring accountancy as a profession accurately represents the society we live in; including all races, classes and backgrounds. 

Since their launch in 2018, NGA has become a fast-growing non-profit organisation with more than 3,000 followers from diverse backgrounds. The NGA team has directly supported more than 300 people in entering the accountancy profession, completing accounting qualifications, and progressing their careers.

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Smart Futures

Smart Futures is a ten month programme which starts with paid work experience during Easter and summer. This will provide students with a variety of transferable skills to give them a head start in their career and in turn can make students more employable, helping them with next steps whether that’s university, college, an apprenticeship or a job. 

Support from a mentor will be provided throughout the ten months to help advise students on some of their biggest career choices and to support them in making their first steps into working life.  

To take part in the programme, EY are looking for ambitious and motivated students who are ready to join the world of work. In order to meet eligibility criteria applicants must be eligible for Free School Meals at some point in the past two years, or eligible for College Bursary or Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA), and are currently in Year 12, attending a state school. 

The programme aims to help students gain paid work experience which in turn will help towards securing a job after school, or a place at university.  

Find out more