Gender Gap Remains a Challenge for Internal Audit Profession

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Terry Sheridan
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Internal audit is pretty much a bro’s club worldwide, according to a new survey report by the Institute of Internal Auditors.

Women in Internal Auditing, written by Margaret Christ, PhD, CIA, an associate accounting professor at the University of Georgia, makes clear that there are many reasons for that and they often are driven by women’s choices, business styles, and cultural norms.

And, yes, that means there’s plenty of room for improvement.

Let’s start with internal audit’s gender gap, which becomes greater as auditors climb the management career ladder, the report states. Below the chief audit executive (CAE) position, women comprise a smaller percentage of the workforce in every region except North America, where 51 percent of non-CAEs are women.

Globally, women comprise 31 percent of the CAE ranks, while 33 percent are directors or senior managers, 34 percent are managers, and 44 percent are internal audit staffers.

While men outnumber women as CAEs in all regions worldwide, female CAEs are particularly scarce in South Asia where they comprise only 7 percent of the top position. In North America, 39 percent of CAEs are women.

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