Date posted: 14/06/2022

Illuminating possibility - CA ANZ President Kate Boorer’s vision for our future

How diverse career paths, mentorship and inclusivity are driving the future of Chartered Accountants.

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In brief

  • When Kate Boorer FCA became an accountant, she knew it was a profession that played to her interests, but never imagined just how diverse her career would become
  • Now, Kate’s calling on educators and students to align with her vision for a diverse, supportive and inclusive Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand

“What an incredible privilege it is to lead the governance ecosystem, be a voice for our profession, and showcase the absolute opportunity that this CA designation provides,” Kate says.

“Part of my vision as President is to support and showcase the diverse career paths available to accountants and ensure we have the mentorship and support systems in place to help make them accessible and available to everyone.”

So, how can educators align with Kate’s vision, and how can her story inspire accounting students?

Embrace diverse career pathways 

As new generations grapple with unprecedented change and disruption, the notion of what it means to have a career has also evolved.

Some experts point to a trend in ‘portfolio careers’, the idea that a 15-year-old today will potentially have 17 different jobs over five careers in their lifetime.

“Nowadays it’s rare a person’s career will develop in a straightforward and linear way,” Kate says. “It’s perhaps more helpful to think of careers as squiggly lines that can take you down pathways you’d never even considered.”

For some students, the unknowns and uncertainty surrounding non-linear career paths can be daunting, however Kate found her foundation in accounting provided security, stability and allowed her to explore different career pathways.

She experienced diversity in her own accounting career. Starting out at consulting firm KPMG, she’s used her accounting skills to go on and establish organisations such as Young Professional Women Australia and Quantum Impact Group.

“A lot of the work I do now is supporting people to look at their career plans and paths. It’s about solidifying our definition of success and how you create sustainable high performance.”

“I'd always been entrepreneurial and liked business, so for me accounting felt like a pathway that would give me options, opportunities and job security,” she says. “I think now, decades on looking back, that certainly has been my experience.”

“A lot of the work I do now is supporting people to look at their career plans and paths. It’s about solidifying our definition of success and how you create sustainable high performance.”

Kate Boorer

Kate Boorer FCA

Don’t underestimate the value of mentorship

Kate says relationship building is one of the skills most conducive to creating opportunity and thriving in today’s work environments.

For students, this might be through networking or mentorship, both of which have factored heavily into Kate's own career.

In 2012, Kate founded Young Professional Women Australia (YPWA) to support women in corporate roles, build knowledge and connections, and in turn, grow their careers.

“One of the things I've loved the most is seeing women connecting with the generosity of like-minded women who can support them, who can recognise themselves in each other,” Kate says.

Kate also speaks to the importance of mentoring and building supportive connections with people outside the organisation you're working for. She believes good mentors should have an impartial investment in your career, but enough familiarity with your field to help you in your career path.

“CA has a programme called Mentor Exchange where we match mentors and mentees who both hold CA designations,” she says.

“It's quite unique because rarely do you have stakeholders in your world who are not vested in your career in some way.”

Amplify your impact with inclusivity

Our student years can be some of the most formative in our lives. At university, students start to refine their worldview and develop the skills, knowledge and character they’ll take into the workplace. 

By highlighting the importance and benefits of diverse and inclusive organisations, educators can help students become civically engaged prior to them taking their first big step in their careers. 

Kate is passionate about making Chartered Accountants an organisation where these principles can thrive. 

“This year we will be launching a diversity equity and inclusion strategy with three core pillars: inclusive leadership, inclusive culture and inclusive careers,” she says. 

“It's supporting our members to create inclusive workplaces where all our members can feel included, have the opportunity to have really successful and fulfilling careers.”

Kate hopes that a more diverse member base will only amplify the professional and social impact Chartered Accountants are making in society. 

“I’m really so proud to lead over 131,000 members who are all out there making incredible contributions to not just the organisations and clients they work with, but also using their expertise to help local communities and not-for-profits,” she says.

“There's so many incredible stories of difference makers that we have here in our profession.”

Related link

We’ve captured some of the diverse career paths and service lines for accountants right here on You Unlimited. We invite you to share this link with students to help them discover possibility today.

Find out more