William Buck kicks off support of gender equality through VAFA Premier Women’s sponsorship By William Buck on 06/07/17 - Mins to read: 3 minutes William Buck Chartered Accountants and Advisors in Victoria is delighted to sponsor the Victorian Amateur Football Association (VAFA) women’s competition in a three year sponsorship deal as part of its ongoing commitment to supporting women and gender equity within the workplace and local communities. It is an exciting year for women’s football since the AFL Women’s competition commenced in February 2017 and this sponsorship underpins William Buck’s strategic objective of promoting an inclusive culture. While many accounting firms are well balanced across gender at the junior level, the top four accounting firms peak at 23% for gender equity. Mid-tier accounting firms are further behind at the senior levels. For William Buck in Victoria, senior level females come in at over 31% with the next level revealing an approximate 50% ratio. With flexible working options available for all employees and a strong focus on living our “Changing Lives” brand promise, we continue to address the gender balance gap. According to VAFA General Manager Blair O’Hara, the women’s competition has taken off much faster than anyone could have anticipated. “Initially, it was indicated that we had 10 or so clubs interested in fielding a team in our new competition. By pre-season training we had 30 teams and by season’s launch in April this year we had 40 teams taking to the field. While a large number of players had not played senior football before, there were certainly teams that had a high skill level. In fact, there were enough to fill eight spots of a Premier Women’s Section in our very first year of women being able to play in the VAFA.” Managing Director of William Buck Victoria, Lindsay Holloway, says the firm were immediately interested in sponsoring the Premier women’s section as soon as it became aware of the opportunity. “William Buck contacted VAFA General Manager, Blair O’Hara, to negotiate a three year sponsorship opportunity in addition to sponsorship of the men’s premier league that was signed this week. We are delighted to be able to associate our brand with an initiative that showcases some of Australia’s best talent on the sporting field.” “The VAFA network has been a great avenue for our firm and in helping to promote the visibility of our brand in the community. We have a number of Directors who have come into the business from these networks and we are seeing a new generation of graduates that want to work with us because of our association with VAFA.” In general, accounting as a profession is male dominated and like AFL it still has a way to go to fully embrace the shift in culture that is changing the traditions and perceptions of the important role both men and women play in these fields. “The right gender balance is simply good for business and we want to support all of our employees in having a long term career with the firm right up to Director level,” says Lindsay. “This sponsorship gives us a way of putting our money where our mouth is and demonstrate our firm’s strong support of this transformation across the professional services industry.” “It’s very exciting and we look forward to seeing what the future holds for the sport and our firm as a result,” adds Lindsay. The William Buck Premier Women’s Grand Final is scheduled for Sunday 20 August. William Buck is an association of firms, each trading under the name of William Buck across Australia and New Zealand with affiliated offices worldwide. Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation other than for acts or omissions of financial services licensees. William Buck is a Member of Praxity, a global alliance of independent firms.