NEWS & ARTICLES

Hello, 

Recently I attended an AFWA Des Moines meeting and met some wonderful ladies.  They had never attended an AFWA Meeting before.  It was a great pleasure to meet them and talk about AFWA.  One thing I left out was how big a part of my life this organization is. 

I would like to share my story briefly.  I became a member early in my accounting career.  I also chose to be a part of the chapter board.  It was an exciting time for me.  All through the years as my career grew so did my AFWA career.  I was Chapter President off and on.  Then I became a member of the AFWA National Team and then on the AFWA National Board.   AFWA is the support and encouragement that I needed to step out of my shell, grow personally and professionally.  I completed my four year degree, my CPA and then my MBA.   The network I developed allowed me to see other successful women and know that I could do it.  I also have great satisfaction working with others who are just getting started.   Mentoring absolutely works both ways.

The benefits of the Des Moines AFWA Chapter are:  Monthly meetings,  whether you are a CPA in need of continuing education or not it is an excellent networking and learning opportunity.   There are leadership opportunities.  I earned my MBA but AFWA gave me leadership opportunities as well.  Volunteer opportunities, if leadership is not your path there are short term volunteer opportunities.  If you are concerned about commitment please consider being an active participative member of AFWA and enjoy the benefits.

There is also the AFWA National Organization.  There are about 70 chapters around the country,  regional and national conferences. The conferences are very energizing, continuing education, fun, and always at a fantastic place to visit.  The networking there is awesome.  Your National membership dues provide us the opportunity to have official continuing education at the chapter level, they provide the structure and support that membership requires, and there are multiple free webinars.   Many times I have heard about members relocating.  There is a great chance that you will find another AFWA chapter in that new location.  There is a National Board and Committees that make that possible.  AFWA National headquarters Staff are there to provide the advancement of our organization, the backbone of our organization, and secure sponsors that make that all happen.   Another part of the National AFWA is the Education Foundation.  Their missions is The Foundation promotes and advances education, career development and leadership in finance and accounting. Our vision is to guide women along the path to achieve success in finance and accounting. 

My personal invitation and call to action today is please go to the Des Moines AFWA website and the AFWA National Website and research if membership is right for you and Please join us as a member. http://www.afwa.org/join/ Please contact me or a member of the Des Moines Chapter if you have questions. 

If you are already an AFWA member please consider becoming part of the action.  The chapter board has made it fun and small commitment!  The reason we encourage membership involvement is to get new ideas and to have new members to fill the pipeline across the board so everyone has the opportunity to make a difference.  And no one has to feel as if they are over committed. 

Mission
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.

Vision
AFWA members are empowered professionals who succeed with passion and integrity.


Legacy of Expertise

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. The industry has evolved enormously for women in the past 75 years, with our organization smartly and passionately evolving with it, ahead of the curve, so that all women in accounting and finance can excel.


A plan for your future

AFWA promotes the professional growth of women in all facets of accounting and finance. Members increase their career potential by connecting with colleagues, receiving education and mentorship to advance their careers, and developing leadership skills. For more than 75 years, members have tapped into a network of successful, motivated, and influential professionals who understand the unique position of being a woman in the industry and who, together, contribute to the future development of their profession.

Best,

Gina Slack CPA, CGMA, MBA

Publication: AFWA
February 2018

 

How All Finance Leaders Can Help Shape Corporate Culture

Corporate culture is a powerful thing. A lackluster or negative culture drives top talent away. An inspiring and positive culture attracts it and motivates teams to perform at their best. And when workers are happy in their jobs, they are more likely to become brand ambassadors for their employer, helping to influence public perception of the company’s products, services, mission, values and much more. That, in turn, helps the firm to build a reputation as an employer of choice.

Finance leaders can play a pivotal role in helping to shape their company’s corporate culture — and they should seek out and embrace that opportunity. Yet only about half (51 percent) of the CFOs interviewed for a recent Robert Half Management Resources survey said they are involved in that process. Nearly a quarter (22 percent) said they don’t contribute at all.

As a finance leader, where do you fall on this spectrum? If you haven’t paid much attention to your role in shaping corporate culture before now, you may want to consider making it one of your top responsibilities moving forward. Senior finance executives can help to build and champion corporate culture by defining (or refining, when necessary) the company’s core values and the way they translate into — and form the foundation of — the firm’s culture

Get others thinking about corporate culture

One way to reinforce corporate culture is by helping employees feel more connected to it, and to see the company’s values and principles in action every day. If your corporate culture is one of openness and transparency, for example, you could take a more active role in improving communication about the health of the business by sharing details of financial performance and failures. If your culture emphasizes teamwork, celebrate successes so that all staff members understand how their work is having an impact.

Also, find ways to drive executive collaboration around corporate culture. While a company’s culture may evolve on its own, to a degree, executives can set the tone and provide direction for how it evolves. Kick off the discussion at senior management meetings by asking, “Are we happy with our current workplace culture?” or “What exactly is our workplace culture?” The answers to these questions could be a wake-up call that management should be doing more to modify, or strengthen, the prevailing corporate culture.

Here are three other ways you can make an impact on corporate culture as a finance leader:

1. Keep corporate culture in focus during the hiring process

When reading resumes and interviewing candidates, look for more than just technical abilities and financial knowledge. Identify professionals with top-notch soft skills. Also, try to make sure that every new hire is someone likely to support the company’s core values. For example, if your business has made innovation a top priority, hire professionals who can build processes designed to spur new ideas.

That doesn’t mean you should hire individuals who won’t question the status quo when appropriate; you’re looking for people who can readily understand what drives your company forward and are keen to help the business achieve its goals.

2. Help your employees build their careers

Does your corporate culture emphasize professional development and growth? If so, is leadership making that clear to employees and helping them visualize their future at the firm? Like many companies, this might be an area where your business needs to step up its efforts. In a recent Robert Half survey, 40 percent of professionals said their managers never discuss their career paths with them. However, 37 percent of workers interviewed said they would like to discuss their career paths at least quarterly, and another 45 percent want to review their options annually.

Become known as a manager who touches base with staff on a regular basis to make sure they’re still satisfied with their job and future options. Not only help them set steps toward their career goals but also make it easier for them to reach those milestones by connecting them with technical training and leadership development in preparation for senior roles. In words and deeds, let them know that they have a real future within your firm and that career advancement is a core part of your culture.

3. Lead by example

A company’s culture is largely the product of its history and its past leaders — but it is always evolving. As a finance leader, you can, and should, take an active interest in reinforcing the positive elements of your company’s culture so it continues to grow and become stronger.

You can do this by “living” your corporate culture and setting a good example for your team. Show pride in your organization, acknowledge the work of others, build positive workplace relationships with colleagues in other departments, and more. Small but powerful everyday actions like these can help to create a work environment where positivity and productivity flourish — the type of corporate culture that any talented professional would want to be part of.

Accountemps, a Robert Half company, is the world’s first and largest specialized staffing firm for temporary accounting, finance and bookkeeping professionals. Accountemps has 300 locations worldwide. More resources, including job search services and career advice, can be found at roberthalf.com/accountemps.

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