Using this blog title may attract a number of curious readers. As I reflect on my life, it is easy to see how the role of women in society has changed. Being a boomer and growing up in the “Leave it to Beaver” generation, I can easily surmise that change is a modest definition. My attitude towards women was molded by my culture and primarily by my mother. I have two siblings, an older sister and a younger sister. My father was a career Naval CPO which tended to send him away from home for large portions of my childhood. Often I was the only man in the family (boy most of the time). I was taught that the parameters and expectations were different for me. It was absolutely unacceptable for me to hit a girl. As a matter of fact, “ladies first” was drilled into me long ago. It was expected that I would open the door for, allow the best seat and always protect the honor of any lady. For me to fail to address an adult lady as “ma’am” would have been a cardinal sin. The toughest of manual labor was expected primarily of the men in my family. If the grass would have been ignored, the greatest embarrassment for me would have been for the neighbors to see my mother pushing a lawn mower along our yard, while I, a man, was relaxing or playing. Ladies were not drafted into the military or even expected to have dangerous jobs during military combat. Even my faith continues to teach me to love my wife enough to be willing to “die” for her.
While I have no regrets or apologies for my upbringing, it is an understatement to say that things have changed during the short span of my 61 years. During my tenure at the University of South Carolina (1971-1974), our accounting department had very few female students (maybe two). My first employer had only one female CPA and no other female accountants on staff. Today we are blessed to have ample female participation in our profession. In fact, the number of college graduates with accounting majors is a majority female to the tune of 60 percent or more. No doubt the future of profession leadership will look much different than in the past.
As the role of women in the accounting profession becomes greater, SCACPA is meeting new educational and networking needs by sponsoring an inaugural conference this fall called the “Women in Leadership Conference.” I encourage all members of SCACPA to consider attendance – women and men alike. It will provide us with tools to continue to improve this profession in South Carolina. Check out www.scacpa.org for details. In the meantime, I thank all the women in this profession who have helped me transition into the 21st Century and helped me recognize the professional contributions that women are sometimes uniquely able to offer.
Blogger: Charles ‘Eddie’ Brown, CPA