Women at BDO: A discussion with Sheryl Levine

What is most rewarding about your role at BDO?

As an Associate Director in our IFRS Advisory team, I am constantly learning because my role is to keep staff abreast of all the latest developments in financial reporting. I find all aspects of my role rewarding, including seeing team members develop and grow by expanding their technical accounting expertise.

What progress have you seen on gender equality throughout your career?

A lot. When I started at BDO 27 years ago, there was only one or two women partners and very few in management positions. Changing attitudes and more flexible work arrangements mean more women at BDO than ever before can achieve their career aspirations.

Why do you believe gender equality is so important?

Gender equality is so important because without it, many talented women are lost from the workforce. In addition, there are mental health benefits for many women who are able to flexibly combine work and parenting responsibilities, and contribute to household finances.

What value do you think women bring to leadership?

Many women bring a different perspective to their leadership roles. They may be more nurturing, provide a more holistic approach to conflict resolution and problem solving, and are very capable multi-taskers.

How has BDO supported your career journey?

BDO supported my career journey from the get-go, making me the first employee to have a laptop with dial-up internet when I took my first maternity leave in 1997. They have supported me with flexible work arrangements throughout my career, which has been important to me because my husband and I immigrated from South Africa. Our children were born here, and we have no family to support child rearing activities.

What do you think future opportunities look like for females in our industry?

I think opportunities for female Chartered Accountants are endless, and this is only more evident since COVID-19 forced us to work at home for long periods of time.

How would you suggest workplaces break the bias against gender equality?

Workplaces should break the bias against gender equality by focussing on outcomes and client satisfaction rather than the number of hours women are ‘seen.’

Read more stories from women at BDO