Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) and Chief Executive Officer of First City Monument Bank (FCMB) Ms. Yemisi Edun called on the leading professional accountant body and its affiliates to prioritize leadership development programs for women accountants.
She made the appeal during the inauguration of Ms. Catherine Nnaji as the 10th President of the Society of Women Accountants of Nigeria (SWAN) and the swearing-in of its new executives in Lagos.
SWAN is a national organization dedicated to serving all women members of ICAN. Edun urged SWAN and ICAN to prepare women accountants for expanded roles that would take them from compliance officers to business advisers and, ultimately, to leadership roles.
According to the head of the bank, the accountancy profession in Nigeria is improving its gender diversity as more companies hire and promote women.
However, she denounced the under-representation of women accountants in managerial positions. The business leader urged ICAN and SWAN to take advantage of the growing number of women studying for a professional accounting degree and those employed in accounting roles to train and gradually increase the representation of women in the C-Suite of large companies.
Ms. Edun congratulated SWAN for unifying the qualified women of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) under a platform that provides leadership, mentorship, networking, education and empowerment.
The new President of SWAN, Ms. Nnaji, expressed her gratitude to the association and its members for their commitment. She challenged women accountants to always uphold the principles of the profession and to develop further, as they can now reach greater heights.
Also speaking, Abia State Governor Dr Okezie Ikpeazu called the ceremony a “celebration of excellence for women”.
While congratulating the new executive members of SWAN, he instructed women to overcome environmental challenges to reach leadership positions.
The Governor expressed the belief that women accountants under the umbrella of SWAN can further contribute to the well-being of our country and of humanity. He also urged women accountants in the country to get more involved in governance.