Forty two percent total active CA students today are women. The president of Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI), Mr Debashish Mitra, shares that 28 percent women comprise the total membership of ICAI. Women are proving their worth in diverse fields and Chartered Accountancy (CA) is no different.
The last five years have seen the growth of women as CA’s at a constant pace. “The number was 64,685 women CAs in 2017, followed by 70,047 in 2018; 73,807 in 2019; 81,564 in 2020 and 88,983 in 2021,” declared Mitra.
In the foundation/CPT courses at ICAI, the recent admission data shows that the number of women taking up CA courses is 54,416. It makes up a whopping 36.54 percent of all students.
Another staggering data points out that 70 female aspirants have topped CA exams across various levels. 7 women have topped the Common Proficiency Test, 8 women have topped the foundation courses, 2 women have topped the PCC course, 24 women have topped the intermediate level and 28 women have topped the finals which is quite impressive.
The former president of ICAI, Mr Ved Jain states that “Post liberalisation of the Indian economy, the field of CA opened up to better job opportunities for everyone. A conducive environment within offices started attracting girls to the field. At that time, the two issues facing girls entering a professional field were cost of education and late marriage; the field of CA answered both.”
The president of ICAI, Mr Amarjit Chopra between 2010-2011 is of the opinion and states that “Compared to professional fields like medicine and engineering, the cost of CA education is miniscule, as students basically need to self-study. As for parents being worried about their girl’s marriage, few female CAs choose to marry within the fraternity. Also, taking a gap due to getting married or starting a family does not mean the end of a woman’s professional journey. CA is extremely open to professionals joining back as long as they keep themselves updated with the field.”
The sobriety of women and their dedication to work make them the more preferred gender within any CA organisation says Chopra.
With more women entering the field of CA, the advantages of hiring women have also been weighed in by the offices. “Male candidates may have taken up the profession due to the societal pressure of providing for the family but with no interest in it. However, girls had to struggle to achieve the status of being a CA, thus they proved to be great employees,” says Jain.
Sending girls away for assignments is the only roadblock in the industry according to Chopra, however, the central council member of ICAI, Priti Paras Savla contradicts this opinion. She says “My company has a ratio of 60:40 in favour of women professionals. In case of assignments requiring travel, girl candidates are willing to travel, which underlines the changing mindset.
Photo Credit: The Hindu Business Line