Membership News

Women’s Initiatives Survey Results

Apr 16, 2013

OSCPA’s Women’s Initiatives survey was conducted in August 2012 and reached 7,198 female OSCPA members. A total of 1,412 responses were submitted for a 19.6% response rate. The following is a summary of the results. 

Join OSCPA's Women's Initiatives LinkedIn groupKey Findings
  • 80% of respondents indicated that it is very important or somewhat important for OSCPA to develop programs and activities specifically for women members.
  • 86% of respondents are very likely or somewhat likely to attend OSCPA-sponsored women’s initiatives events or activities if topics are of interest. 
  • 26% of respondents said they would be willing to volunteer to help in some aspect of OSCPA women’s initiatives programs or events. Nearly 350 members provided their name and contact information.
  • Topics of most interest for educational programs included: 
    • 74% - Work/life balance strategies and best practices 
    • 69% - Leadership  
    • 66% - Career paths and success factors for women in accounting  
    • 48% - Refining networking skills  
  • 744 respondents answered the open-ended question which asked them to identify the most challenging issues facing working women today. The vast majority of the respondents identified work/life balance as the most challenging issue with many respondents describing their role as primary caregiver to children and/or aging parents in addition to their professional career. Other challenges identified, albeit far less frequently, included:
    • Progressing up the career ladder (breaking into the “old boys network”)
    • Earning equal pay for equal work
  • 73% of respondents would join an OSCPA “Women in the Profession” group on LinkedIn. 
  • Respondents were nearly evenly split on the desire to recognize women in the profession through an OSCPA-sponsored awards program. 52% said yes. 48% said no.
  • 30% of respondents are interested in volunteering for a philanthropic activity organized by The Ohio Society of CPAs. Causes most frequently sited included:
    • Mentoring
    • Education/financial literacy
    • Women’s health/breast cancer awareness
    • Child hunger/food banks
    • Low income women/children
  • When asked what resources OSCPA could offer to help female members be more successful in their professional careers, 222 open-ended responses were submitted. The most commonly identified resources included:
    • Mentoring programs
    • Events/programs highlighting women leaders and how they got where they are 
    • Local networking events
    • More accounting career path information for young women
    • Women’s LinkedIn group
  • When asked what employers can do to foster the type of work environment where women thrive, 704 respondents answered the open-ended question. The most common responses included:
    • Offering flexible work schedules
    • Providing technology that allows work at home during “off hours”
    • Offering leadership training and mentoring
    • Providing equal pay for equal work
  • A very small number of respondents (less than 10) expressed concern regarding women’s initiatives programs. The common concerns were that it would be seen as discriminatory, set women back professionally and create divisiveness in the workplace. 
Demographics of respondents
  • Practice Area:
    • 42% - Public Accounting
    • 33% - Business/industry
    • 7%  - Sole practitioner 
    • 7% - Non-profit 
    • 10% - Other (government, education, student, retired)
  • Age Range:
    • 19% - 21 – 30 
    • 19% - 31 – 40 
    • 27% - 41 – 50 
    • 27% - 51 – 60 
    • 7% - 61 and up