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Jina AWEB Summit

Authenticity Sells in Accounting


Leadership across the accounting profession is still predominantly male and white, so how can women, people of color, and other under-represented groups be themselves and still stand out?  The answer, says Jina Etienne, lies in elevating your company’s brand by using your voice and being authentic.

May 10th 2022
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What does it mean to be an ‘authentic’ accountant and how can this actually help your practice?

In her opening keynote address at AccountingWEB Live Summit, Jina Etienne, CPA, CGMA dove right in to address the issue of accountants not truly embracing who they are as people, having to play down now they look or speak and simply not being “real.” In short, she believed accounting professionals need to embrace who they are and have that be their selling point.

“Accountant is what I do, it's not what I am. Your personality is the strongest part of your brand [as an accountant],” said Jina. “As accountants, we are like chefs in a restaurant. I'm serving tax returns to clients, they come back for the genuine experience.  In accounting, authenticity's about being your genuine self; how you show up every day, all day.”

In the interest of the profession truly putting out who they are, Jina mentioned that many people in a professional environment will often “code switch” in order to be more accepted where they work. This can be anything from how they dress and talk, to even hairstyles.

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