Tommye Barie, CPA – 2020-2021 Most Influential Women in Accounting


Tommy Barrie, CPA

2020-2021 Most Influential Women in Accounting
Executive Vice President of Leadership Development
Estate Institute, LLC

What advice would you give others on your similar journey about opportunities for women in the accounting profession?

There are limitless opportunities for women in the accounting profession. However, careers don’t usually happen randomly with passive behavior. It is important to speak up and volunteer for projects and activities that will raise your profile.

What measures would you suggest to employers to be more effective in retaining and advancing women?

Provide equal access to targeted development and advocacy and experiences with high impact and influence. Often the failure to do so is unintentional – it’s just a human tendency to mentor or coach those who remind us of ourselves. Eliminating this unconscious bias can have a significant impact on a woman’s career trajectory in terms of helping her navigate the culture and strategies that will elevate her worth.

Why did you choose to work and stay in an accounting related field?

Our profession offers a variety of work opportunities, challenging assignments and financial rewards. In my opinion, there is no better profession regardless of gender.

What book (s), blog (s) or podcast (s) do you recommend that have guided you on your journey?

  • Emotional Intelligence: Why Can It Matter More Than IQ? by Daniel Goleman.

McKinsey & Company released its 2020 Women in the Workplace study which basically says that the current pandemic is starting to impact the progress women, especially women of color, have made in the profession. What advice would you give employers to support women during this time so that the future of our workforce is not negatively affected?

Now more than ever, women are being pulled in different directions with increasing responsibilities at home and at work amid a pandemic. One of the points raised in McKinsey’s 2020 Women in the Workplace study is the need for employers to be flexible and empathetic – the need for employers to foster a culture in which women have equal opportunity to achieve their goals. long term potential. For most of my career there was not much desire to offer a flexible path to advancement for people who are not working full time and when such flexibility was offered it often seemed to be wearing off. the stigma that the person was not as motivated or engaged as others. In my experience, this stigma is often misplaced. The contributions of those in need of flexible working arrangements are staggering and organizations that do not offer flexibility and the opportunity for advancement are losing an inordinate amount of talent.

What advice would you give to young female CPAs who are striving to achieve similar success in this profession?

Be bold, courageous, and diligent in pursuing what you want. In addition, it is important that women have access to the extended tasks necessary for advancement and networking opportunities that increase the knowledge of the person. Open communication with leaders about the desire to access them will increase awareness and increase the chances of these things happening.

Describe someone who has been an important mentor and sponsor to you and how that person has helped shape the direction or direction of your professional life.

When identifying a mentor, I looked for someone I respected and who was highly respected by others in our profession. I had a female mentor and a male mentor for many years – with whom I never worked for a significant period. Both points of view have been very valuable to me. They trained me to be strategic and persistent in making decisions to improve my career and to always be authentic.

Please share a personal rule or principle that you follow.

We have choices in everything we do. I take responsibility for the choices I make because they shape my life, whether professional or personal.

Learn more about the 2020-2021 Most Influential Women in Accounting recipients.


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