Celebrating #breakthebias: here’s one woman’s story

equality, women, bias

It’s still fitting to lean into the theme of the recent International Women’s Day and discuss the bias that still exists, especially in the workplace. In fact, the entire structure around having a career is built in a way that makes it somewhat biased, whether consciously or unconsciously. A traditional workday was created for those that have no other obligations in life, but the traditional hours that come with full-time employment simply aren’t possible for everyone, especially women who hold caregiver roles and find themselves playing a difficult juggling role. 

While most of us in western society agree that women carry us through the various roles they take on, not many have found a way to create a new structure that discards the rigidity of its predecessors.

As a chartered accountant, I was made very aware of the importance of the structures that make the financial services world. I was reminded that it won’t serve to change anything, it is the nature of the business to be rigid in its hours, to require you, as a professional in this field, to feel burnt out often because of the long hours you dedicate to your work.

One of the other factors that pushed me into breaking barriers in the profession was my desire for flexibility in my work schedule. The incident that gave me the final push to start my own accounting practice was needing to consult with a doctor over a severe vitamin B deficiency, a sad side effect of a demanding work schedule and depleted self-care. I’d decided to work from home that day. It was scarcely a few minutes after I’d sent the email informing my business partners when I got a response asking if I had a shortage of work. The statement felt loaded with tremendous bias, the assumption being that I had to be in the office to be productive and that I could only be productive if I am at the office. This helped me to clarify the structure I’d create in my own business.

By creating a cloud-based business, I knew I could create a firm that enables my team to work from anywhere. At the time this was unheard of in the accounting profession. There’s this idea that accountability can only be achieved if you’re at the office each day. People ridiculed my ideas and the partners at that business openly laughed at me.

Today Accounting Heart is an award-winning accounting firm and thought leader in the female empowerment conversation. We’re taking a feminine approach to run a  business in a male-dominated industry, and we’re proving that efficiency and precision don’t need to come at the cost of warmth, compassion, and flexibility.

My team members achieve outstanding results for our clients, we are a prestige-quality service provider. Our team works according to a flexible schedule, from wherever they are. This gives women the opportunity to have children, care for the elderly at home, be homemakers, and have time-consuming hobbies all while pursuing their professional goals. When and how these goals are met is completely autonomous.

Our clients enjoy a different type of service too. We hold a space for them to safely share their business struggles and gain authoritative insight into solutions. I’m aware of how mysterious and intimidating finances can be but have always believed, and now seen, that when your accountant is warm and friendly and makes complex accounting principles simpler to understand, solutions become holistic answers to effective and stress-free business management.

Women’s Day’s #BreakTheBias resonates with my story because I believe that a compassionate and feminine approach to business makes it possible for more women to stay in their careers for longer.