Forty-seven percent of women in accounting and finance are satisfied with their careers and only 19 percent believe they are equally compensated for their work as compared with their male counterparts.
Furthermore, the findings of the recently released Mergis Group Women in Finance survey reveal a definitive need for more mentors within the profession.
"Based on the findings of our Women in Finance survey, more than half of the women surveyed are dissatisfied with the progression of their careers and nearly three-quarters believe they face a separate set of professional challenges in comparison to their male counterparts," said Patricia Dinunzio, regional managing director of The Mergis Group.
Women are less satisfied with the progression of their accounting and finance careers than men. Specifically, 60 percent of male workers in accounting and finance consider themselves to be satisfied, as opposed to 47 percent of women.
Women in accounting and finance ranked being challenged (31 percent), compensation (25 percent), and flexibility (15 percent) as the most important factors to satisfaction in their career. On the other hand, men in accounting and finance ranked compensation (32 percent), being challenged 26 percent), and flexibility (15 percent) as the most important factors to satisfaction in their career.
Men ranked accounting and finance skills and expertise (39 percent), relationship building and professional network (38 percent), accounting and finance experience (34 percent), and management skills (34 percent) as the top factors that are most important for success in their job in the next five years.
Alternatively, women ranked accounting and finance skills and expertise (50 percent), accounting and finance experience (37 percent), and relationship building and professional network (31 percent) as the top factors that are most important for success in their job over the next five years.
Only 19 percent of women respondents believe they are equally compensated for their work as compared with their male counterparts. A much greater percentage of men believe this to be true (52 percent).
When asked if female accounting and finance workers face a different set of career challenges compared to their male counterparts, 73 percent of women agreed, while a much smaller percentage of men agreed (35 percent).
Although most finance professionals would recommend the profession, few believe there are enough mentors, according to the survey.
"While there are certainly many different viewpoints in how workers in general define career satisfaction and success, it is interesting to note that both men and women are highly likely to recommend the profession to others," Dinunzio said.
"One of the greatest take-aways from this survey is that there is a clear need for mentorship programs within the profession," she said. "It is our personal and professional responsibility to enable existing and future accounting and finance professionals to achieve their full career potential. Doing so will only contribute to the future development of the profession."
Fifty percent of female respondents believe the accounting and finance profession does not have enough role models in the field, as compared to 31 percent of men. Approximately two-thirds of both men and women said that they have not had or currently do not have a mentor to support their career in accounting and finance (68 percent of women and 66 percent of men).
However, nearly the same amount of both men and women believe that having a mentor or role model is necessary for a successful career in accounting and finance, with 61 percent of women and 64 percent of men believing so.
The majority of both men and women in accounting and finance would recommend the profession to a family member, with 83 percent of women and 81 percent of men reporting so.
About The Mergis Group:
The Mergis Group is a leading professional placement firm that specializes in recruiting for positions in finance and accounting, engineering and manufacturing, sales and marketing, legal, and human resources. The firm provides recruiting services to Fortune 500 and small and mid-sized companies through its network of 35 offices nationally. The Mergis Group is a division of SFN Group, Inc. SFN operates a family of specialty businesses providing strategic workforce solutions in professional services and general staffing.