The Accounting & Financial Women’s Alliance (AFWA) is a professional organization for women who work in accounting and finance jobs. The organization got its start in the 1930s when the accounting and finance professions were primarily composed of men. Over the last 75 years, AFWA has given women the professional development tools to excel. Today, women are well represented in the fields of accounting and finance, and many of these professionals give at least some of the credit to organizations like AFWA. With over 55 local chapters throughout the continental United States, members can participate as leaders in the organization or simply network with their peers at one of the many AFWA sponsored conferences and special events. Here are some specific benefits that make AFWA a must join professional organization for women accounting and finance professionals who work in academia and industry.
Source of Industry Publications and News
AFWA members gain access to three different types of publications that include articles, technical white papers and other printed resources designed to keep women informed about the organization’s activities and accomplishments, as well as technical challenges within the career field. These publications are designed to support the whole person, and they often contain helpful essays that address stress management and physical health maintenance topics for women accountants and finance professionals who are climbing the corporate ladder at full speeds. These AFWA materials are published weekly, monthly and quarterly.
Although leadership opportunities may not be equally accessible to everyone in the workplace, AFWA fosters an environment that encourages the development of leadership skills among its members that they would likely not have in the corporate world. AFWA’s unique environment of support and cooperation lends itself well to programs like its Lead Emerge Advance with Passion (LEAP) Advisory Council where a select number of members can make suggestions to help further the mission of AFWA.
AFWA has a dynamic, virtual career center that matches employers with qualified women accountants and finance professionals. This career development resource is accompanied by expert tips for career strategies and overall management. For instance, members can learn about the latest trends in resume and cover letter composition for finance professionals, guidance for researching prospective employers and insider advice for winning job interviews. Other topics such as salary negotiation, developing one’s brand in the job market and increasing job performance are all discussed within the AFWA career center.
Support for the Next Generation
One of the reasons for the long term success of AFWA is its forward thinking initiatives that invest in the future of the accounting and finance career fields. This is evident with the organization’s special offerings to students. For instance, future accounting and finance professionals gain access to customized resources relating to academic and professional development. Women accounting and finance students can also start and participate in AFWA student chapters. AFWA student chapters that provide them with built in, national professional networks, mentorship programs and leadership opportunities.
AFWA also offers financial support for women who want to pursue accounting and finance degrees or certifications. The organization provides scholarships for students entering degree programs at the undergraduate, advanced and doctoral degree levels. They also provide the same type of financial support to those who want to gain popular industry certifications like the Certified Public Accountant, Certified Management Accountant and Certified Valuation Analyst credentials.
Besides its quality publications and cadre of women business leaders who are responsible for its operations, the Accounting & Financial Women’s Alliance supports the professional aspirations of women accounting and finance professionals in word and in actions.