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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 that 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. This can be achieved by making sure the marketing and messaging we produce is inclusive, showcasing a diverse range of case studies and opportunities are promoted to the widest audience.

What outreach is happening?

Outreach at ICAEW


ICAEW’s national Business, Accounting and Skills Education competition (BASE) is a business skills competition for students aged 16-17. All schools and colleges in the UK are invited to put forward teams to participate in an online challenge, with the highest scoring teams going forward to the national final. Since its inception BASE has helped more than 22,000 students develop key employability skills like communication, teamwork and leadership and allowed exposure to the types of work that chartered accountants do. BASE 2019 saw nearly 5,000 students register to take part in the competition. 30.3% of students were from a BAME background (up from 24.9% in 2018). There was also an improvement in participation from students from lower socio-economic groups.

ICAEW 100 

ICAEW 100 is an online competition for undergraduates that mirrors the first stage of many recruitment processes through a game situational judgement test. The competition ran in the UK, SEA and Cyprus during 2019-20. The UK competition has always focused on engaging students we may not usually meet face-to-face, particularly: Wide-range of universities; Non business subjects; Women; A breakdown of UK participation is as follows:

  2020  2019
 Female 58% 58% 
 State educated in the UK 80% 78%
 First generation university 41%  39%
 Non-business degrees 74%  73% 
Bright Network

ICAEW has worked with Bright Network for a number of years, attending and sponsoring events, running workshops.

Outreach in the wider profession

New Gen Accountants

New Gen Accountants offer advice, particularly, to BAME grads and school leavers looking to get into accountancy. ICAEW supports them with marketing resources and sharing their content on our social channels. 

EY Foundation

The EY Foundation was set up to support young people who face barriers to succeeding in the workplace. They have published 11 commitments for improving ethnic diversity, against which they will track and publish progress.