Just 12% of accountancy and audit firms set up in the UK in 2022 were started by women
Companies House data analysed by Instant Offices found that a total of 3,200 businesses were registered as ‘accounting and auditing activities’ in 2022 – an increase of 15% compared with 2021.
However, only 368 were launched with a female director, indicating a year-on-year decline from 22% in 2021 to 12% last year.
The percentage of female-established accounting firms in 2020 and 2019 was 20% and 21% respectively.
Across all sectors, which saw a total of 117,486 companies listed, just 32,183 of the directors were women, compared to 89,540 who are men.
The study also looked at the best and worst cities for women in director roles and found that London, Manchester and Birmingham are the cities with the highest level of female representation.
In 2022, London had 6,921 female directors, followed by 713 in Manchester, 641 in Birmingham, and 379 in Glasgow.
Portsmouth, Oxford and Plymouth showed the lowest overall representation of women at the director level countrywide.
Related to the age bracket, those between 31-40 scored the highest, with 10,516 women directors. This was followed by 41-50 with 8,221, those aged 50+ with 6,822 and 26-30 with 5,166 roles.
Across sectors, catering and commercial cleaning saw the largest percentage of female directors, each standing at 48%. This was followed by specialist medical practitioners (46%), human health activities (45%), and other education (44%).
John Williams, chief marketing officer at Instant Offices, said: ‘Gender diversity can ultimately benefit the bottom line, culture and overall performance. Around 54% of small businesses, 64% of medium ones and 59% of large companies report improved business outcomes when implementing initiatives to improve gender diversity.
‘Supporting women in more influential roles in business, particularly women of colour, is vital. And while startup and entrepreneurship support and infrastructure still have some work to do countrywide, companies can start today by supporting women with organisations to advance, thrive and develop their leadership skills.’