KARACHI: Association of Chartered Certified Accountant’s (ACCA) Chief Executive Helen Brand OBE said that 2018 was the 40th anniversary since the phrase ‘glass ceiling’ was first used by business consultant Marilyn Loden. She said that 40 years on, since the phrase was used to define thwarted careers and ambitions especially for women, ACCA is calling for business leaders to show real and measurable progress on diversity and social mobility issues, as it marks International Women’s Day 2018. The global theme for this year’s event is #pressforprogress, seeking advances on a number of issues from gender pay parity to equality of opportunity. “Looking forward, if there’s one area where I wish to see sustained progress, it’s to ensure career ladders breaking the glass ceiling for women. We have to take a wider view and seek progress on social mobility as unequal access to opportunities still exists for many women and men,” Helen Brand said. ACCA Pakistan Head Sajjeed Aslam said that the accountancy profession was an attractive career choice for many because of the flexibility and choice it offers. “At ACCA, we’ve made opportunity a reality, with an open access policy that enables anyone to qualify as a professional accountant. By simply removing the need for prior qualifications, we’ve created access to a profession that offers a rewarding career,” he said. ACCA says employers and their recruitment strategies are part of the success equation for diversity. Sajjeed Aslam added that as our Gen Next report shows, creating leaders of tomorrow is an on-going task for firms. “The tone clearly has to be set from the top, with a transparent culture that’s committed to diversity. We have to measure this progress too – after all, what’s not measured can’t be managed. Effective corporate leadership is needed to achieve real and lasting progress. At ACCA we believe this can be made through open discussion, transparent reporting and ensuring diversity is an integral part of how we work now and in the future,” Brand said. Published in Daily Times, March 8th 2018.