The main objective of the workshop was to evaluate the role of women in the accounting profession and to explore strategies that could help women to succeed in their careers. Michelle Bigley, the speaker, sets the framework for further discussion already in the very beginning of her speech by suggesting that accounting is dominated by men. Based on this premise, she continues the speech by recommending some strategies that could help women to succeed in their careers. She discusses the right attitude to work, suggests ways to interact with colleagues and elaborates on building relationships with the boss. While most of these suggestions represent only personal experience, they provide an insightful perspective on the position of women in accounting companies. Moreover, the author introduces some common pitfalls that are made by women in building their professional relationships. The knowledge of these commonly made mistakes could become highly beneficial both for women, who are starting their careers, or for those, who are currently working and have already faced similar problems.
The information taught in the seminar is highly valuable for women, who are planning to pursue a career in accounting. Due to the fact that most of the information was taken from the personal experience of Michelle Bigley, it is highly practical and can be easily applied in the “real world”. However, the usefulness of the seminar is not limited to its practical applicability. The fact that it is based on personal experience makes the advice given more credible and interesting. The value of the seminar is also related to its topic that is both unusual and highly relevant. Today equal employment opportunities have become the ultimate goal of many enterprises, therefore discussions of gender-specific problems have become a taboo. However, the cases when women are being undervalued in companies are not rare. That is why the knowledge of the best strategies to overcome male resistance in the office could be extremely helpful for future female accountants.
The seminar definitely made a valuable contribution into the formation of my personal leadership profile. Firstly, I became aware of the extent to which women are disadvantaged in the workplace vis-à-vis men. This knowledge will help me to prepare for the potential difficulties with male colleagues and to be flexible in terms of developing a personal strategy for the future. The seminar also highlighted the fact that there is a fine line between being friendly and unprofessional, and women cannot afford crossing this line in daily activities without their authority as well as professionalism being questioned. Additionally, working closely with the supervisor makes it easier to communicate own abilities and career aspirations. It is therefore important to seek proactively new tasks and challenges, while ensuring that even most routine tasks assigned by the supervisor are performed thoroughly and enthusiastically. Only this flexibility and openness could shape the leadership style that could be effective in the men-dominated field of accounting.