ICAEW speaks to Philip Haberman, Senior Partner and Founder of forensic accounting firm Haberman Ilett, about how important it is to invest in women leaders
Philip Haberman believes in giving opportunities to employees with potential, supporting them in their career to achieve their true potential, reasoning: “What better way for them to learn, and to find out what they’re capable of?”
When it comes to female leaders, the firm has sponsored three employees to attend ICAEW Academy’s Women in Leadership programme (WIL) to date, which supports women aiming for senior management, partner or board roles.
“I found the programme has been really helpful for me and came at the right time in my career development. ICAEW’s help, the quality of the instructors and particularly the closeness, honesty and integrity of my particular peer group, have all been so valuable to me,” said Vikki Wall, a partner in the firm, and a former WIL participant.
“The WIL programme has real long-term benefits for potential female leaders,” Haberman affirms. “The participant meets a group of external peers who see them as a leader, and this helps them to feel like a leader.”
Invest in women leaders’ self-belief
Haberman is of the opinion that in order to be an effective partner, you have to feel like one.
“Real self-belief is fundamental to success in a business environment,” he explains. “I need my team to go to their clients and tell them what they need to do with absolute conviction. WIL builds people’s confidence. I’ve seen the difference in employees: They come back from the programme with a belief in themselves, and it resonates with clients.”
WIL’s particular strength is its focus on a participant’s existing assets, seeking to refine and craft their individual leadership style. Haberman adds that its mentoring component is exceptionally powerful. He says:
“It can sometimes be hard to change the views of those who know you. A stranger is more objective, and you start from a position of strength, with no baggage.”
Haberman concludes: “If you consider the value these programmes bring to the individual and the firm, they pay for themselves. They help people move from one career stage to the next, and getting people ready for leadership secures the future of the firm. That’s return on your investment.”
Acting Head of Professional Development
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