James Moore & Company has been named the number one accounting firm in the nation for women, according to Accounting Today’s 2020 Best Firms for Women. Firms making the list are recognized for a female-friendly atmosphere, such as women in leadership roles.
Each year, Accounting Today recognizes the 100 Best Firms to Work For in the U.S. and then picks the 10 Best Firms for Women from among those based on the responses of their female staff to a comprehensive employee survey.
Suzanne Forbes, managing partner at James Moore, says that there was no recent policy or effort aimed at a female-friendly atmosphere. Instead, it has always been the sentiment of firm leaders to give equal opportunity—even in times when it wasn’t the norm.
“There was a culture at the top welcoming flexibility within the firm,” Suzanne, who joined James Moore in 1987, said to Accounting Today. The firm’s lack of an “up or out” policy means that career paths are plentiful and varied. “You don’t have to want to be a partner with this firm to have a long and rewarding career here. You have choices.” She cites one female employee who started the same time she did but chose to work three-quarters time while raising her children. Once they were grown, the woman went back to full time and is now a partner with the firm.
Suzanne credits this flexibility as a key to the James Moore’s culture of work/life balance (what she calls “work/life integration”). It’s a culture that allows people to make time for their families or other aspects of their personal lives. It has also facilitated work-at-home setups and flexible hours during the COVID-19 pandemic so parents can homeschool their children.
While these policies have traditionally benefitted women, they attract and retain quality employees regardless of gender—and that’s the main point.
“Having women in leadership does allow us to recruit more women. But it’s not just about that,” she said. “When I talk to partners at other firms, I don’t even think about how we’re over 50% owned by women. It’s just normal to us.”
Click here to see the entire top ten list from Accounting Today. You can also read the full article, including the discussion with Suzanne and other top ten firm leaders. (Free registration is required.)