Moore Together: Bridging the Gender Gap

Moore-Together-Graphic.jpgMoore Stephens North America is comprised of over 42 member firms that provide key services across a wide variety of industries and niches. This month’s “Moore Together” is a collaboration between Bridget Sigillito with Brown Smith Wallace, Andrew Borys with Citrin Cooperman, Carol Carlile with HCVT and Nicole Henry with MSPC.

Growth is power. If you’re growing your revenue, your team, and your company, then you are doing something right. When growth is stilted through a lack of opportunity or limited resources, companies jump at the chance to solve the problem. Enter: the gender gap.

“Women represent 50% of college graduates, but they also represent the greatest loss of talent in our industry. Where there is loss, there is opportunity. Through specific efforts to recruit and retain young women, firms can expand their talent pool and fill their leadership pipeline,” said AFWA National President, Lori Kelley, CPA.

Many Moore Stephens North America member firms have actively acknowledged this gender gap, specifically the discrepancy that exists within the accounting world. The issues that plague the industry include a lack of women in leadership positions and a need for support for women professionals at every stage of their career.

MSNA members see this gap as a real problem and are looking for solutions to shrink it. Over the years, our members have found ways to encourage and empower women through new programs and increased positions, giving them a competitive advantage in talent and opportunities.
CC_WomensInitiative_4C.jpgCitrin Cooperman launched their Women’s Initiative (CCWIN) several years ago with the goal of empowering women in the workplace. The program embraces three main characteristics:
  • Consistent, measurable progress in advancing their women to leadership
  • Proven and continually evolving programs that retain and advance their women
  • Clear and compelling integration of the business case for advancing women with business results
“Our program features a dedicated group of professionals, who are committed to continuing to enhance our workplace with a laser focus on attracting, developing, rewarding and engaging our women,” said Patricia Cummings, CCWIN Partner Sponsor.

CCWIN focuses on ensuring that the firm fosters a work environment where women thrive including offering flexible work schedules, providing technology that allows working at home, offering leadership training and mentoring, and access to firm leaders.

CCWIN plans to continue its efforts to champion the women of Citrin Cooperman, embrace both diversity and inclusiveness, and to help the accounting industry in its evolution towards gender parity.
Women-s-Initiatives_MSPC-EWNG.PNGIn 2012, MSPC formed the MSPC Executive Women’s Networking Group (EWNG). Created with the help of Seven Degrees Communication President Jessica Levin, this group came about due to a lack of meeting place or a “community” for the professional women of the firm.

“The MSPC Executive Women’s Networking Group is a unique opportunity for professional women to meet and learn from each other,” said MSPC Client Relations Manager Nicole Henry. “Our goal is to create a community where the women who work at MSPC and women in the community can get together for professional and personal growth.”

The group has brought in guest speakers and covered topics such as “Personal Branding & Social Media”, “Goal Setting Strategies”, “Vision Planning” (completed with creating an actual vision board), and many more.  However, not all the events are educational. They’ve been known to mix it up, including a “Mixology and Mingling” night, bringing in a chef to their corporate apartment in New York City for a night of networking.
The-Bridge.jpgBrown Smith Wallace started The Bridge in 2014 as an event series for professional women of all career stages to network and gain insights from thought leaders.

“We want to help our younger and mid-career women get out in public in non-threatening ways so they can learn how to network while feeling comfortable," says Robin Bell, Tax Partner. "When you can get so many women in one room from different professional levels, it’s very powerful and effective.”

The series kicked off in November 2014 with a breakfast presentation by Melenie Broyles of Etiquette Saint Louis. More than 250 women enjoyed Melenie’s presentation “How Not 2 Act This Holiday Season: Making Connections Count.”

Since this event, they have hosted eight additional events, addressing networking, bridging generational gaps, conflict resolution and assessing meaningful relationships. On May 16, 2018, The Bridge features special guest speaker Teri Griege, a recognized leading expert on resilience.

To shake things up they started The Bridge BOOtique on October 29, 2015. This annual evening of shopping supports more than 50 local, woman-owned businesses selling custom jewelry, clothing, home décor and more. The vendor reservation fees that are collected are donated to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc. The next BOOtique will be October 25, 2018.
HCVT.pngIn 2015, a committee at HCVT conducted a firm-wide survey to gather information about what was important to the women of the firm. Topics such as networking, work-life integration, leadership, and communication styles were some of the topics addressed. Through a collaborative effort, they developed goals and activities that support the mission of the Women @ HCVT.

“Our mission is to enhance and improve the firm’s retention and advancement of women by leading women in all career stages to connect, grow and achieve professional and personal success,” said Patty O’Connell Chief Operating Officer and tax partner at HCVT.

The first firm-wide event was a luncheon that featured a diverse panel of HCVT women from all career stages and practices. They shared their insights on many topics - including starting a career in public accounting and new motherhood – and also heard from guest speaker, Lynda Obst, one of Hollywood’s most accomplished and successful producers.

The event also included a community service project. HCVT has an affordable housing niche practice, and the women wanted to support the mission of their clients that provide housing and supportive services to those most in need. They gathered toiletries and gift cards for three of their clients.
Every effort to bridge the gender gap is a huge step forward. We are very proud of the efforts of our members and are excited to see the continued success of these initiatives.

To learn more about the initiatives made to support women in the workplace, please contact Bridget Sigillito with Brown Smith Wallace, Andrew Borys with Citrin Cooperman, Carol Carlile with HCVT or Nicole Henry with MSPC.

We’re great alone, but we’re “Moore Together!” If you would like to collaborate with other members, or if you have a topic you would like to address, please contact Laura Ponath.