East Midlands Leadership Awards – meet the sponsors: ICAEW East Midlands

Entries are now open for the East Midlands Leadership Awards.

The Awards will take place for the first time this November to showcase the very best leaders and organisations across the region – and nominations are now open.

TheBusinessDesk.com has created the East Midlands Leadership Awards to celebrate the people that are role models within their organisations and raise the bar for their competitors. The winners will show the qualities of extraordinary leadership and be able to demonstrate the positive impact this has had.

Here, we meet one of the sponsors for the event; the ICAEW East Midlands.

ICAEW Midlands is delighted to sponsor the Diversity and Inclusion Leader award at both the Business Desk East Midlands Leadership Awards and the Business Desk West Midlands Leadership Awards.

This is an important year for ICAEW, as it marks 100 years since it admitted its first female member, Mary Harris-Smith at what was a turning point on the path to gender equality in the workplace. Parliament passed the Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act 1919, opening opened up access for women to many professions previously closed to them, including accountancy, law and the civil service. In 1920, at the age of 76, Mary Harris-Smith was admitted as ICAEW’s first ever female member, becoming the first female Chartered Accountant in the world. She was a highly accomplished professional, having set up her own accountancy practice in the City of London and first applying, albeit unsuccessfully, to join ICAEW in 1891.

To mark the centenary, ICAEW’s President for 2019/20, Fiona Wilkinson, is leading a global programme of events, taking place from June 2019 until May 2020 , which marks the official month of the centenary.

Fiona has spent her career as an advocate for diversity in the profession, spreading the message that accountancy is inclusive and open to all, regardless of background.

Fiona said: “Today, we still need to get more women Board-ready, into senior roles as well as becoming role models for those trying to achieve their career aspirations. I am proud to say that ICAEW is driving greater access to the profession and I am delighted that my time as President will involve celebrating this important moment in ICAEW’s history”.

Sophie Dale-Black, regional director ICAEW Midlands, said: “Miss Harris-Smith showed incredible resilience and persistence to break down the barriers for equality in the profession. We must continue to drive change and encourage diversity in our workplace so that we can ensure greater innovation and increased productivity in business.”