- AccounTEK Global is a new non-profit networking group to support women working in accounting and finance, but men are also encouraged to join.
- The organisation wants to become a central information hub on how to use IT to benefit accounting practices, their employees and clients.
- Its golf day at Bondi on Friday 22 March 2019 aims to bring women together at a typically male venue, and connect them with people in the accounting-tech industry.
By Roger Balch
It was a social media post highlighting three industry conferences where all the panellists were men that sparked the idea of AccounTEK Global. That, and an accounting firm partner telling Kylie Parker CA that he didn’t bother learning software “because my girls know how to use it”.
AccounTEK Global is the brainchild of Sydney-based Parker of Lotus Accountants, Kelly Chard CA from GrowthMD in Brisbane, and accounting-tech expert Lielette Calleja of All That Counts in Sydney.
The non-profit networking group that aims to support women in the accounting and finance industry. Another goal is to become a central information hub on how to use IT to benefit not only accounting practices but also a practice’s employees and clients.
But AccounTEK Global isn’t a girls-only club. From the start, its founding trio judged it important to involve men in the organisation.
“If we were really going to live up to what we believe – that opportunities should be open to all – we need to have men on board,” says Chard. “Having really supportive men on board who believe in what we’re doing actually strengthens our message and what we are all about.”
Networking on the golf course
Kylie Parker CA
AccounTEK Global will launch with a golf day at the Bondi Golf & Diggers Club, perched high above Sydney’s Bondi Beach, on Friday 22 March 2019.
When asked how golf fits into the AccounTEK Global concept, Parker says, “A lot of networking is done by men on the golf course and although men aren’t being deliberately exclusive, by its very nature sometimes it is.”
“Bondi is very much a hackers’ course,” she explains, “so it doesn’t matter if you’re a good golfer or not. It’s just a day to be out in the open and do the things you do on a golf day: networking and having fun. But not in a situation where people feel self-conscious.”
Chard adds, “The golf day should be great because it brings together those two ideas: what Kylie was talking about in terms of women being included in traditionally male events like golf days, and also bringing people together with some great partners in the accounting-tech industry.”
The AccounTEK Global founders believe that the combination of women and technology is an empowering and liberating one.
“We do find that the changes in online technology are enabling women in particular – still often the family’s primary caregiver – the flexibility to be able to work whatever hours we want. We’re not chained to a desk like we used to be,” Parker says.
“A lot of networking is done by men on the golf course and although men aren’t being deliberately exclusive, by its very nature sometimes it is.”
“If we can also have a say in the technology-product design from a female end-user perspective, the more that is discussed, then hopefully it can make the family and work-life balance easier for everyone.”
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