Mazars USA, LLP launched Women@Mazars in 2016. We recognized the need for gender diversity in professional services industry. This long-term effort supports the full potential of women leaders at Mazars through education, awareness, and improving the visibility of, and access to, role models.
The core mission is to attract, retain and advance women leaders with the goal of equitable opportunity, presence, impact, and influence for women and men at all levels of the organization. Building diversity in accounting has been a challenge. Mazars’ leadership recognizes that the firm’s people are its first priority and through Women@Mazars and other, ongoing efforts, has taken steps to promote a diverse workforce.
We know that, beyond being the right thing to do, organizations benefit from diverse talent that broadens their perspective.
As one of the firm’s women leaders, I have first-hand knowledge of the value of programs like Women@Mazars in both establishing an effective tone at the top and encouraging women to step into leadership roles. As such, I’m extremely pleased to be the Lead Champion of Women@Mazars.
The office Champions support the mission and vision of Women@Mazars and act as “the face” of program in their local offices. Each office has a number of Champions proportional to the total office population, ensuring that there’s adequate coverage and advocacy for Women@Mazars.
As point people for promoting gender diversity, Champions educate, direct and liaise with our team members at local level. This includes sharing articles related to gender diversity, conducting semi-annual local roundtable discussions related to gender diversity topics, creating an annual strategy, and acting as a general advocate for Women@Mazars and gender diversity.
More broadly, they work to understand the factors impacting the progress of women in the accounting profession and how the strategies being used by Mazars USA are meant to address them. Champions act as sounding boards for team members on challenges and opportunities, bringing trends and observations to our Women@Mazars Steering Committee, shaping our approach moving forward.
One very successful Champion-led initiative has been an ongoing series of lunch sessions with women in local offices. These lunches are both one-on-one and in group settings, giving women a chance to build trust and communicate openly about their concerns, career goals, share advice, and generally build community.
We also celebrated International Women’s Day at our offices for the past 3 years. Team members are encouraged to wear purple to show their support and join with people around the globe to support this year’s theme of #BalanceForBetter.
To better promote the visibility of women leaders, each year ten women participate in the Be Visible campaign. They share their individual personal leadership stories as well as the different aspects of visibility, such as: why it is critical, what type of visibility you need, and how to help others with their visibility. This year’s campaign is “Making Your Mark” which highlights ten women across the firm who have challenged the status quo and turned their obstacles into opportunities. Each month we highlight their story with a video sharing how they made their mark in their careers.
We believe that visibility is important within Mazars USA and externally in the marketplace and community. Our Be Visible campaign highlights women leaders at Mazars USA that embody our core values and principles.
I have found these women to be inspiring and have been told by others that they value hearing these stories and getting the insight of successful women.
Through all of these efforts we’ve made substantial progress over the past few years, increasing the share of women at the Senior Manager and Partner levels, including a recent class of Partners that was over 50% women. Building a robust pipeline for promotion is one of the best ways that we can ensure that we have future women leaders and that other women can gain access to the mentorship that they need to succeed in our firm.
There is still more work to do. However, I know that we are committed to continuing to improve and am glad to be part of both a firm that cares about its people and a program that has been as successful in promoting gender diversity as Women@Mazars has been.