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Women in business

A collection of books, articles and guides on topics of interest to women working in business and accountancy.

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Featured eBook

It's not a glass ceiling, it's a sticky floor: free yourself from the hidden behaviors sabotaging your career success
Shambaugh, Rebecca (McGraw-Hill Publishing, 2007)

Admit it: You've probably been ‘stuck’ in at least one or more of these situations. Maybe you're a perfectionist who has trouble letting go of a task. Maybe you're so loyal to your company that you haven't explored other career options. Maybe you're afraid of speaking up in meetings. Or maybe you're so accommodating to others' needs that you never take care of your own. This book will show you how to get unstuck from these common traps.

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Featured article

Women in leadership: Time for more
This article shares insights, advice and questions from participants in the Women's Accounting Leadership Series, about moving up in accounting and finance. Topics discussed include barriers to career advancement among women in finance and accounting, what women can do to create a more inclusive workplace environment such as seeking male and female colleagues as mentors and serving as a mentor to male colleagues, and skills required to rise to the top.

You will need to be logged in to the website to gain full access to the range of articles available online.

Legal Alert

Legal Alert is a monthly checklist from Atom Content Marketing highlighting new and pending laws, regulations, codes of practice and rulings that could have an impact on your business.

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Disclaimer: These publications from Atom Content Marketing are for general guidance only, for businesses in the United Kingdom governed by the laws of England. Atom Content Marketing, expert contributors and ICAEW (as distributor) disclaim all liability for any errors or omissions.


The Library provides full text access to a selection of key business and reference eBooks from leading publishers. eBooks are available to logged-in ICAEW members, ACA students and other entitled users. If you are unable to access an eBook, please see our Help and support advice or contact library@icaew.com.

It's not a glass ceiling, it's a sticky floor: free yourself from the hidden behaviours sabotaging your career success

Professional advancement for women in the workplace.

Woman's place is in the boardroom, A

Details the advantages of having women on the board of directors.

Woman's place is in the boardroom, A: the roadmap

Guide to promoting women in the workplace.

Women in business: the changing face of leadership

Describes the process of increasing gender diversity in leadership positions.

Women in finance

A chapter on career development for female finance professionals who want to progress in senior roles.

Women leading

Describes the role of women in leadership positions.

Terms of use: You are permitted to access, download, copy, or print out content from eBooks for your own research or study only, subject to the terms of use set by our suppliers and any restrictions imposed by individual publishers. Please see individual supplier pages for full terms of use.

Online articles

The ICAEW Library & Information Service provides access to a range of articles in full text from leading business, finance and management journals. This resource is available to ICAEW members, ACA students and other entitled users.

You will need to be logged-in to the website to gain full access to the range of articles available online.

Why are women accountants leaving their jobs?

A two-year study by accounting researchers Carly Mouland CA and Alessandro Ghio is pinpointing how firms can better tackle gender equity and stop losing female staff.

UK failing on diversity, female financiers, reports say

Smaller companies in Britain's FTSE All-Share Index are lagging behind their larger peers when it comes to having diverse representation on their boards, according to a report by Women on Boards UK.

Job sharing can help keep women in senior roles

Could job sharing help make work, and pay, more equal for women in senior professional roles?

Who aspires to be a partner in a public accounting firm? A study of individual characteristics and gender differences

Research identifying characteristics influencing partner aspirations in US public accounting firms, with special emphasis on gender differences.

Women naturally better leaders in times of crisis and beyond

The article presents a report of Leadership and Emotional Intelligence Performance Accelerator (LEIPA), 360-feedback tool from LeaderShape Global, which reveals that women are better leaders than men in the times of crisis.

When women lead workplaces should listen

Article looks at leadership lessons learnt from women-only leadership programmes and speculates that the most valuable lesson is showing an organisation where to improve.

Women in leadership and the stewardship of power

The article explores how executives can make a meaningful difference in addressing the dearth of women in leadership. Topics discussed include barriers and challenges regarding women in leadership, how executives can leverage their stewardship of power to support women in leadership and create a culture of inclusion, and qualities of leadership that are valued and promoted.

Women in finance: pushing water uphill

Lorna Hutchinson Parliament Magazine

Fighting for gender equality is an arduous struggle for women across all fields and the financial sector is no exception. Lorna Hutchinson reports on the perspectives of female powerhouses from the world of EU finance.

The secrets of successful female networkers

Identifies four characteristics that distinguish the networking behaviours of high-performing women from those of their peers.

Bridging the gap: don't just say you value your female employees - show it

The article offers several tips for accounting firms to motivate female employees to be partners and principals. These tips include creating a program to make a cultural change, having a clear objective to achieve goals, and involving everyone in the women's empowerment program.

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Guides, publications and research


Women in Work Index 2021: The impact of COVID-19 on women in work
Annual update to PwC's Women in Work Index which combines key indicators of female economic empowerment into a single comparable index for 33 OECD countries.

Women in business 2021: A window of opportunity
Annual report from Grant Thornton tracking the global progress of women in senior management. Includes the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the business landscape and implications for women in the coming months and years. Previous reports are also available including:

Women in the workplace 2021
Annual study by McKinsey & Company and LeanIn.Org of women in corporate America. Focuses on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the growing emphasis on diversity, equity, and inclusion on the experiences of women and the state of work more broadly. Previous reports also available via the site.


FTSE women leaders: Hampton-Alexander Review
The fourth report of the Hampton-Alexander Review assesses progress in adoption of the five key recommendations aimed at increasing the number of women in leadership positions of FTSE 350 companies that the original review published in 2016.


FTSE women leaders: Hampton-Alexander Review
The third report of the Hampton-Alexander Review assesses progress in adoption of the five key recommendations aimed at increasing the number of women in leadership positions of FTSE 350 companies that the original review published in 2016.


Maximising women’s contribution to future economic growth
Women’s Business Council Progress Report 2017.


Gender salary reporting
Brief guide from the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) to new legislation which requires large employers to measure and report on how they pay men and women from April 2017. Also includes results of the CMI and XpertHR's Gender Salary Survey 2016.

Women in Finance Charter
Details of HM Treasury's 'Women in Finance Charter' which asks financial services firms to commit to implementing 4 key industry actions to improve gender balance within the industry. Published in March 2016.


Maximising women’s contribution to future economic growth - Two years on
Follow-up report from the Women’s Business Council published in June 2015. Outlines further recommendations for changing business culture to better use the talents of girls and women as they participate in the workforce at every stage of their lives.

Organizational strategies: retaining and developing women leaders
Guide published by AICPA in 2015 to help accountancy firms develop and implement strategies that facilitate career progression for women.


Maximising women's contribution to future economic growth: One year on
Follow-up report from the Women's Business Council published in June 2014. The report gives recommendations for businesses and policymakers, updated statistics on women's participation in the economy and a talent management checklist for employers.


Maximising women's contribution to future economic growth
Report published by the Women's Business Council in June 2013 examining areas of work with the greatest potential economic benefit and providing recommendations with a clear economic case for action. 


Unwritten rules: Why doing a good job might not be enough
This series from Catalyst provides access to reports and tools on how to learn, leverage and communicate an organisation's own unwritten rules which exist alongside formal talent management and performance review programmes. The research examines the impact of these unwritten rules and emphasises that those, often women, ‘who do not have the tools to access this maze of unwritten rules and the important knowledge these rules provide remain left out, no matter how competent they are’.

The gender dividend: Making the business case for investing in women
This report was published in 2011 by Deloitte as the first in a series of reports aiming to examine successful models for investing in women. The report ‘lays out the rationale behind why governments and organisations must look to women as key to their economic growth’.


Representation of women and men in business and government: Public attitudes and perceptions
Results of a survey published by the Government Equalities Office in March 2010. The aim of the survey was to explore public attitudes in the UK towards the representation of women and men in public institutions and in business.


Inquiry into sex discrimination in the finance sector
Research report from the UK Equality and Human Rights Commission published in March 2009. The study surveys the pay, policies and practices of organisations within the financial services sector.


Women of ICAS reaching the top: The demise of the glass ceiling
Research published in 2007 which evaluates the extent the glass ceiling remains a phenomenon for female Scottish chartered accountants.

Organisations and networks

Government Equalities Office
Department of the Home Office responsible for equalities legislation and policy in the UK. Site includes research, publications and statistical information on women in work.

British Association of Women Entrepreneurs
Non-profit professional organisation for UK based women business owners.

Organisation working globally to expand opportunities for women and business. The website provides access to research reports on a range of gender and diversity issues.

Prowess 2.0
Network of organisations and individuals aiming to support the growth of women's business ownership. Access case studies, useful facts and figures, newsletters and publications (registration required to view some content).

Women in Business
Business support network for women established in 1994.

Women in business (Startups)
Online resource for SMEs produced by publisher Crimson Business which provides information, articles and news on business networking, funding for women in business and support for female entrepreneurs.

1230 The Women's Company
Network of meetings and events for business women to help and support each other to grow their businesses.

Women in Rural Enterprise
Network and club for business women in the rural sector. Access news, information about events and the WIRE directory which details members' businesses, success stories, regional contacts and useful links.

Articles and books in the Library collection

To find out how you can borrow books from the Library please see our guide to book loans.

You can obtain copies of articles or extracts of books and reports through our document supply service.

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