International Women's Day: Celebrating Women in Accountancy

1-2 minutes

In this blog, you will learn:

  • About the expertise and experience of a female Senior Accountant.
  • Gain insight into the current challenges women face in the accountancy and finance sector.
  • How to find and apply for the best Senior Accountant jobs.

International Women’s Day is an annual celebration to recognise women’s achievements and gives focus to issues such as gender equality. To celebrate we’re drawing attention to the women in accountancy firms. 

According to the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), women account for approximately 46% of all Accountants and Auditors in the UK. However, despite this progress, there is still work to be done to address issues like the gender pay gap and the underrepresentation of women in leadership roles across accounting firms worldwide.

To help more women take the plunge into the world of accountancy and finance, we recently caught up with the ACCA qualified Jasminka Nasevski. From leaving her home town, to starting a family in a new country, Jasminka is an inspiring Senior Accountant with quite a story to tell.

In an exclusive interview, Jasminka shares her thoughts on International Women’s Day and her experience working in the accountancy and finance sector.

Jasminka, it’s great to talk to you. Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I am a qualified ACCA Accountant and a mother to two grown-up children. I was born in North Macedonia and I came over to the UK as an Au Pair. I was always an ambitious young girl, and unfortunately, Macedonia did not provide the prospects for a sustainable career.

At the age of 23, I decided to make the big and permanent move to London in pursuit of a better life. 

I started my education in finance with a short course in Business Studies where I was introduced to Bookkeeping. I liked the course so much that I enrolled to become an Accountant through the Association of Accounting Technicians (ATT) and later gained my ACCA qualification. I took my exams and education very seriously, all the while raising my children and working full time. 


Describe your career history

I started my career as an Accounts Assistant some twenty years ago in the hospitality industry. I worked within various accounting jobs, rising up the ranks to become an Accountant.

After some self-convincing, I decided to try my luck within the practice sector, and I have not looked back since. When I switched from industry to practice, I was lucky that I found a job very quickly. I am currently working as a Senior Accountant for a small practice in Chiswick.

Do you find the accountancy and finance industry to be particularly female or male-dominated?

I think it is generally a mixed bag within the junior and middle ranks, although I have found that senior level roles are certainly more male-dominated, especially within the partnership level. 

The theme for this year's International Women’s Day is ‘Inspire Inclusion,’ what does this mean to you?

To me, it means equal opportunity for both sexes. This is something that has been talked about a lot lately, but the actual changes take time. Having said that, the younger generation are more ambitious and dare to dream, which is inspiring to see.

In 2022, just 12% of accountancy and auditing businesses established in the UK were started by women (research from Instant Offices). Why do you think that is?

I think there are various reasons for this, one being that women are certainly more risk-averse due to their taking time off work to raise a family. Naturally, this puts women behind for at least a few years. I think this is an important area that we should work on as a society.

Another reason would be the lack of opportunities given to women to progress as they are often overlooked when it comes to a promotion in their chosen career.

What did you dream of doing when you were younger?

Like all young girls, I had a life dream. But speaking sincerely, I didn’t dream of having a destined profession or career. I think I wanted to become a lawyer at one point, but I never pursued it, and it was more of a wistful idea. I guess at that age I was more worried about leaving Macedonia. I was just happy to take on a job and work my way up.

Which women inspire you the most?

For me, it would have to be Serena Williams, one of the greatest female tennis players of all time. She had to overcome various obstacles in her career to get to the top of the game and yet she is so fierce and stands true to who she is. I also find Jennifer Lopez so inspiring as she has an amazing work ethic and she is fully committed to her profession.  


Define a great leader

Resilient, accountable, and driven. Someone who inspires, motivates and recognises others.

What has been your biggest achievement so far?

Personally, I am very pleased that I have managed to create a family and start a new life in a different country. I have come to feel very at home in London, and to this day, I am amazed by my bravery and determination. It does go to show that you can do anything you want in life, and successfully too.

Professionally, I am very proud that I have completed my accountancy studies, but my aim is to become an owner/partner of an accountancy firm. I have already started working on this and I am currently dealing with the legality of setting up a practice. I have gotten this far, why give up now?

How did you overcome barriers to get into accounting?

My very first job in accounting was a three-month long work experience within the hospitality industry. Once you have some experience working in a finance-based role, life becomes easier. I discovered that finding that first job is the most difficult part. After that, it has been easy moving jobs.

Based on your own experience, what advice would you give to women trying to establish a career in accountancy or anyone striving for gender equality?

I would say work hard, be the best at what you do and when the opportunity comes along, ask for it. Use your voice to make yourself heard and be patient. If you fail in the first instance, try again, keep trying and don’t give up. Just go for it and don’t let any refusal dishearten you. 

What would your advice be to any women considering setting up their own accountancy firm or becoming a partner?

I support you! Go for it and the sky's the limit. At the same time, I’d say be prepared to dream big and work hard. 

What main change would you like to see for young girls in the next generation?

I think slow change is already happening in society where women get more chances, at least in the western world. I think the biggest change I would like to see in the next generation is simply women being true to themselves and what they want out of life, not letting societal conventions or trends dictate their path. I think that’s the key to happiness and success. 

Our Recruitment Consultant Adam Pickering placed you in your current role. What were your experiences of using a recruitment agency? What are the benefits?

Working with Adam Pickering was lovely. He took time to get to know me, both personally and professionally. We worked from there to match me with a suitable role. He was very informative and available to answer questions and queries. 

Using an agency helps to smooth the whole process from the first introduction, to interview and finally offer of a job. 

Senior Accountant jobs

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Or simply upload your CV and be the first to hear about relevant opportunities as they become available. 

Searching for more career advice? Check out our Accountancy & Finance Career Hub for insightful content including an interview with an award-winning female Partner, and a day in the life of a Private Client Tax Senior.   

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