The number of UK qualified female accountants rose to 34% between 2006 and 2011, but leadership roles are still rare, according to ACCA.

ACCA report that the number of women on FTSE 100 boards rose by 17.5% in the last 18 months, but that the majority of these weren’t in the most senior positions.

The figures also suggest that finance is currently the key route for women into the top spots: of the 20 female executive directors in the FTSE 100, thirteen are are either currently CFOs or have held major financial roles in the past. In fact, 65% of female executive directors come from a financial background, in comparison to 45% of men.

More stills needs to be done to ensure the profession is diverse, particularly in leadership roles: Helen Brand, chief executive of ACCA commented: ‘As an industry we must work together to ensure that female talent is nurtured and supported.’

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