How Women Leaders Create the Future

Claudia Zwart, President, Global Women Leadership Foundation | July 22, 2014 |

We need to better understand how global women leaders create the world and enable the development of the future global accountancy profession. As with other professions, the financial crisis revealed the need for new sources of sustainable and inclusive growth—not just for women but all individuals.

The Global Women Leadership Foundation (GWL) contributes to the development of new leadership by conducting research worldwide and developing leadership skills in women. GWL is currently visiting all six continents and interviewing women from international organizations to gain insights from successful and inspiring women in leadership positions. Some of the recommendations they have shared include: 

  • Many interviewees emerged from some form of crisis situation and had little choice but to face the unknown;
  • During this phase of the unknown, they were open to new ideas, beliefs, and values—in doing so, they were able to reconsider existing ideas and values to form new ones; and
  • They were able to consciously make new decisions for goals, new ways of working, and desired behavior.

In this respect, our formative experiences lay the groundwork for the leadership skills we call upon to build the future.

For the accountancy profession, leadership skills begin with our formative experiences, and the basic values we call upon to be leaders, both male and female. These include independence, integrity, and objectivity. They are things that are both taught to us and integral within us. Financial scandals, like the recent Lehman Brothers bankruptcy, begin with people and the choices they make.

How can women accountants create the future? They can draw upon the very skills that helped them overcome adversity and conventions. For each individual, this blueprint is unique. But when the time arrives to make decisions and apply knowledge, we have much strength to recall and much vision to put forward.

What are your views? As leaders, how can women accountants create the future?

Thank you for your interest in our publications. These valuable works are the product of substantial time, effort and resources, which you acknowledge by accepting the following terms of use. You may not reproduce, store, transmit in any form or by any means, with the exception of non-commercial use (e.g., professional and personal reference and research work), translate, modify or create derivative works or adaptations based on such publications, or any part thereof, without the prior written permission of IFAC.

Our reproduction and translation policies, as well as our online permission request and inquiry system, are accessible on the Permissions Information web page.

For additional information, please read our website Terms of Use. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.