International Women's Day: Life Through The Eyes Of A Female Managing Partner

1-2 minutes

In this blog, you will learn:

  • About the expertise and experience of a female co-Partner.
  • Gain insight into the current challenges women in leadership roles face in the accountancy and finance sector.
  • How to find and apply for the best Managing Partner jobs.

To shed light and give a voice to women on International Women’s Day, we’ve conducted an exclusive interview with an award-winning female Managing Partner, Faye Watts, to discover her path to success and how she has taken the accountancy and finance industry by storm. 

According to Grant Thornton’s International Business Report (IBR), just 34% of senior leadership positions will be held by women in 2025. Despite the underrepresentation of women in leadership roles across accounting firms worldwide, Faye has defied all odds, progressing from her role as a Tax Advisor to becoming one of the founding partners at FUSE Accountants.

As a partner for over 15 years, the silver winner at the Best Business Women Awards in 2023 and the co-founder of an online magazine for women who want to change their life, Faye continues to value professionalism, passion and gender equality.

Throughout this fascinating interview, Faye shares her thoughts on International Women’s Day, her experiences of being a woman in practice and her plans for the future. 

Discover valuable tips, advice and firsthand experience from an expert in the field of accountancy as we discuss gender equality in this special interview.

Hi Faye, it’s great to talk to you. Can you tell us about yourself and your accountancy firm?

I started my career at a top London accountancy firm and progressed to a second one of a similar size not long after qualifying. As much as my career seemed to be following the right path, after around 10 years something was missing and this was the ability to determine my own course and direction, and to choose how and when I worked with my clients.

The motivation behind this was wanting to service my clients fully without watching the clock and focusing on billing, thus giving people more of my time. So, setting up on my own gave me the autonomy to do just that. A few years later Steve Watts joined the firm and we haven’t looked back.


What were the main challenges starting up a business in the accountancy industry?

Initially I thought that being a woman in practice was a hurdle. However, as the years have passed, I’ve realised that this was actually my superpower and most likely the secret to my success. Back when I was working for others there appeared to be a lack of women in leadership, senior management and partnership, and this was frustrating.

I’d definitely say that this contributed to the motivation for setting up on my own. I’ve always been tenacious and ambitious so even when a previous employer said I’d regret it, it just made me more determined to press forward. 

I’m also empathetic and logical and have plenty of common sense which meant I stood out from others early on. Of course I’ve had self-doubt along the way, and I know things could have gone differently but I don’t regret a single choice I’ve made or the actions I’ve taken.


Figures show that just 12% of accountancy and auditing businesses established in the UK in 2022 were started by women. Why do you think that is?

I think self-doubt is definitely up there, but running a business is hard work and requires dedication, time and commitment. I’m not saying women aren’t capable of this but many women have children and would prefer to prioritise family life over a business. 

I’m also not saying you can’t have both but I believe if I’d have had kids, I’d have not wanted to work some of the hours I’ve worked on the uphill treadmill! I understand that it is now pretty much 50/50 in those entering the profession so it shows that women are interested in the profession, and in my experience and opinion, are good at it.

Define a great leader in accountancy - What are three traits you think great leaders possess?

Lead by example. You are a mirror and your reflection is mirrored in the behaviour of others in your team. Find the passion in what you do. Yes there are dull days but if you are clear on your values, they will shine through. 

For me, my values are integrity, compassion and professionalism and of course they come through as values of FUSE also. The passion to help others will be mirrored by your team if you genuinely represent that.

What has been your biggest achievement?

Buying my mum a new car! I know this doesn’t directly answer the question but it means a lot to me because of what is behind it. I’ve worked hard to achieve many things, I’ve won awards, been a finalist for some, been showcased as a top woman in business alongside some very impressive names. 

That’s all great and of course great for confidence boosting and public relationships, but the biggest satisfactions are usually those that are personal to you.

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

A strong value of mine is fairness. Inclusion for me speaks of fairness and equality. I want to hear what everyone has to say, not just those with the loudest voices or those with their hands up. 

We are all weird and wonderful in our own way and should celebrate our differences. Inspiring inclusion means letting everybody have a say and a place at the table, so that everyone has a fair chance.

Based on your own experience, what advice would you give to women trying to establish a career in accountancy and finance, set up their own accountancy firm or become a partner?

Embrace your femininity and celebrate being a woman, don’t excuse it. Don’t put up your own obstacles because you’re a woman, they only exist in your head. If you look for something, you will see it!

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

Media messaging. Mainstream press still highlights women’s clothing and appearance rather than their successes and achievements. It’s time to change the messaging!

You were recommended for this interview by our Recruitment Consultant, Adam Pickering. What are the benefits of using a recruitment agency?

Recruiting is not an easy task, let the professionals do what they do best so you can continue to do what you do best.

Managing Partner jobs

If you found this interview insightful and you’re interested in progressing your career, why not take a look at our current vacancies? Or why not upload your CV and be the first to hear about opportunities when they arise!

For more stories from women in accountancy check out our International Women’s Day Interview With A Senior Accountant, a day in the life of a Private Client Tax Senior and a Personal Tax Assistant.

Accountancy and finance recruitment

As a specialist accountancy and finance recruitment agency, we provide businesses and practices of all sizes with support and expertise to fulfil their staffing needs. If you’re struggling to recruit, why not get in touch to see how we can help. 

Who is Spencer Clarke Group?

Since 2017, we have been leading the way as an award winning recruitment agency that prides itself on innovating the industry. Whether it's the culture in our offices or the way we conduct business, we are committed to effecting positive change and reshaping the recruitment industry.

We operate in two sectors:

Private Sector

Public Sector 

In eleven specialisms:

Accountancy & Finance

Education & SEND

Construction, Trades & Labour

Healthcare, Social Care & Nursing


Corporate Functions & Business Support

HR & Workforce Development

IT & Digital

Property & Asset Management  

Planning, Development & Regeneration 

Highways, Infrastructure & Engineering

© Spencer Clarke Group 2023
Site by Venn