Raffa, P.C. named #1 on Top 100 INSIDE Public Accounting 2017 list for firms with the highest percentage of females in the partnerships ranks and Raffa’s top female leader wins multiple awards for doing more. Kathy Raffa, president and audit partner at Raffa, P.C., sweeps a triple crown in 2017 and is recognized by the Washington Business Journal, Jewish Women International and Greater Washington Society of CPAs (GWSCPA) in partnership with the AICPA for her leadership of the largest women-owned CPA firm, her contributions to the profession and to the community.
Women may be represented in large numbers in the lower and middle ranks, but according to a 2015 CPA Firm Gender Survey, commissioned by the Women’s Initiatives Executive Committee (WIEC) to gain more insights into the status and situation of women in CPA firms, numbers decline at top leadership levels.
At Raffa, women make up more than 71.4 percent of both the workforce and partners, and it’s not just women who are leaders at Raffa. More than 72 percent of partners, managers and employees are people of color, LGBT, or non-US born.
“Of the top 100 accounting firms in the U.S., we are the only firm with such a high percentage of female partners,” (the next closest is 45.5%) said Kathy Raffa. “Throughout the firm, women have leaders, mentors and people who support them, and as a result, our retention of women and the opportunities presented to them are terrific.”
“I feel very fortunate to have Kathy as my mentor, she is someone who genuinely cares about me. Kathy has been such an integral part of my career as a great role model who is always very encouraging. Kathy’s determination, integrity and grace are just a few of her qualities that continue to inspire me. With her example and kind words, I always feel that I can conquer any problem at home or at work,” said Gery Ivanova, one of Raffa’s newer partners who started her career with the firm right out of college.
Per the IPA recognition, “The honor is an important one, as the profession has long struggled with increasing the number of women in its ranks of partners. # 2 on the IPA Top 100 list has 45.5% women partners and in the largest firms, on average, one in six owners are women, a statistic that is not significantly different than a decade ago, according to IPA benchmarking data.”
As the mother of three grown children, Kathy Raffa brings her own experience integrating a rewarding career with a meaningful family life. The firm offers work arrangements that fit each individual’s personal needs including part-time and telecommuting options.
“A lot of accounting and consulting firms struggle with women rising to leadership positions. Women leave when they are starting families and struggling with workplaces that don’t strive to integrate work with life, family and community,” said Kathy Raffa, who spent the early years in her career at one of the “big four” firms. “Younger women see that women are leaders in our firm and they can see the opportunity and the potential for their own careers.”
“As a women-owned, women-majority firm, we are proud to support multiple clients who are helping women advance industries, improve health and welfare, empower themselves and each other, and better the world,” said Kathy Raffa. “They inspire all of us to do more and we empower them to do more.” “As for our employees, all of our employees, no matter their gender or background, if something is important to them, and it is their purpose, like being with their children or serving their church, it is important to us as the leaders of this firm that they fulfill that purpose.”
"Vital Voices commends our friends and partners at Raffa for this well deserved recognition. The leaders at Raffa are using their wealth of knowledge and experience for good. Together we've developed the Vital Voices Raffa Executive Mentoring Program which provides the most exceptional women leaders we work with around the world with a year-long, intensive virtual mentoring experience lead by Raffa Executives. The program provides social entrepreneurs and advocates with the financial management and strategic business skills and networks they need to tackle their personal leadership and organizational challenges."
said longtime Raffa client Alyse Nelson, CEO of Vital Voices.