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Bringing Women Back to Work: Hitting Play from Pause


Accounting MOVE Project special presentation: Course 4 of 4
Course Description

How can firms win back women who were forced to derail or slow their career progress in the midst of COVID-19 disruptions? The COVID-19 recovery has thrust millions of American women into "stay or go?" career decisions. Meanwhile, firms must find ways to draw women back into the leadership pipeline by recrafting traditional paths to partnership and forging new channels of advancement. 

Key Points: 

  • The pandemic forced women into impossible choices between career advancement and family health and preservation.

  • As the economic recovery gains steam, firms must win women back to the leadership pipeline. 

  • Simply restoring the traditional progression to partnership ignores the likelihood that women's paths to partnership may well be interrupted again by unforeseen events. 

Learning Objectives: 

  • Recognize that women and women of color realize that the economic recovery is creating many new avenues for achieving their career goals; they are not interested in merely reverting to the prior model of partnership preparation 

  • Describe how new modes of remote leadership dictate new competencies for all partners

  • Summarize why retaining women in the partnership pipeline throughout work-life interruptions requires firm leaders to adopt new ways to train and measure progress, such as the "stop the clock" approach

About the Mini-Summit: The Accounting MOVE Project presents the 2021 Recovery Reset

As firms quickly regain momentum in the COVID-19 recovery, they have a chance to re-center diversity, inclusion, and equity priorities and programs to accelerate the advancement of women and women of color. This fast-paced, practical mini-summit equips firm leaders, talent development staff, and advocates for women with tactics they can use to win women back and forge new ways of working that can permanently strengthen women's careers and firm stability and performance.

Key Takeaways:

  • How leading firms are adapting their diversity, inclusion, and equity efforts to have a voice in the national conversation is increasingly fraught, fragmented, and urgent

  • How firms that are recognized innovators in designing careers in sync with women's priorities have retooled to retain key talent

  • Tactics that are working now to draw women back to the partnership pipeline

  • How to use virtual and hybrid internships to strengthen first career experiences for diverse talent

View all course details in the series:

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Reema Patel is a manager with Councilor, Buchanan & Mitchell, P.C. (CBM). Ms. Patel has nearly ten years of experience in public accounting, including former positions at a national firm. Her tax experience includes planning, research, preparation, and other services for individuals, businesses, and non-profit organizations. She specializes in audits, reviews, and compilations, focusing primarily on the automotive, non-profit, and professional services industries. She is also involved in employee benefit plan audits.

More recently, Ms. Patel has assumed additional leadership responsibilities at CBM. She has developed a business plan to deliver financial planning services to Generation X and Y professionals, thereby contributing to a new client model for the firm's future. She has also participated in the Greater Washington Society of CPA's Margaret De Boe Leadership Development program to enhance her management development, communication, and leadership talents.

Finally, Ms. Patel is one of the first participants in CBM D-PATH ("Diversity – Professional Accountants and Advisors Transforming the Horizon"), an internal diversity and inclusion initiative at CBM intended to provide leadership and business development, networking, and empowerment opportunities to female and minority professionals throughout the firm.

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Folashade is an experienced licensed attorney practicing as a Forensic Accountant responsible for forensic accounting and investigations. She is experienced in conducting detailed reviews and analyses of mortgage contracts and real estate loan files regarding predications of fraudulent transfers and violations of mortgage loan agreements; and analyzing financial and corporate documents.

About Our Sponsor

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The mission of the Accounting & Financial Women’s Alliance is to enable women in all accounting and finance fields to achieve their full potential and to contribute to their profession. Founded in 1938 to increase the opportunities for women in all fields of accounting and finance, members of the Accounting & Financial Women’s Alliance and their companies benefit from resources that accelerate their professional growth.