Making accounting and finance a more inclusive profession

Sarah Ghosh FCMA, CGMA Co-Chair, Association for International Certified Professional Accountants, President, Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, United Kingdom.


One of the things about accounting and finance that I find most inspiring is the clear link between what you are willing to put in and what you get out. If you have the aptitude and are willing to work hard there is almost no limit to what you can achieve. That is the promise of our great profession.

I want that promise to be universal. Although we have seen significant progress and there is a lot to celebrate, we remain on a journey to create the fully inclusive profession that I dream of.

Fundamentally, accountancy and finance is dependent on people. All the cutting-edge technology in the world means nothing without high-calibre people harnessing it to add value to their organisations and push the boundaries of what accountants and finance professionals can achieve. Without continuously attracting new talent, none of the great work we do for organisations around the globe will be possible.

Many career paths are open to the next generation. That’s why we should be reaching out to young people—whether it’s by talking to students about their careers, hiring interns or mentoring and coaching talent. We also need to make sure they are aware that we are offering a diverse and accessible range of learning pathways to become an accounting and finance professional.

We are providing innovative online and structured learning through the CGMA Finance Leadership Program, working with organisations to support apprenticeships, as well as continuing to offer our traditional routes. These expanded ways to learn allow greater access to becoming a CGMA designation holder than a reliance on traditional classroom and testing centre approaches, embracing the fact that people like to study in many different ways.

We must show them the huge range opportunities that come with this career and demonstrate that we are a purpose-driven profession that makes a difference.

As our predecessors have done for us, I believe that we must “pay it forward” and enable others to access opportunities so they too can build successful careers and make a positive impact, as we have done and continue to do.

We need to be more visible and proactively engage, to share our own career journeys and stories of what it means to be part of this profession, and explain how they can join us, to fulfil their own ambitions.

I’m pleased to say our organisation is playing our part. In April, the AICPA & CIMA Europe Mentoring program was launched, with mentors and mentees representing 22 European countries. In addition, this year we have a DEI member spotlight that is aimed at amplifying the diverse voices of the profession. This enables professionals and students to see diverse people like them, who they might not see day to day, succeeding in the profession. In November you can attend the Women's Global Leadership Summit. This will be an empowering and dynamic event designed to inspire, educate, and support women in their journey towards personal and professional success.

Initiatives like these help others grow personally and professionally. Diversity, Equityand Inclusion is not a challenge to overcome, but an opportunity to seize so that we can better serve our organisations and communities. I urge you all to think about what you can do in this space, which is vital for building the profession we all want to see in the future.


To find out how CGMA Professional Qualification can help you with personal and professional development, visit our website.