Women’s History Month started as a Women’s History Week celebration in Santa Rosa, California in 1978 to correspond with International Women’s Day on March 8th. Then, because of the rapid popularity, a syndicate of women’s groups and historians—led by the National Women’s History Project – successfully lobbied for national recognition in 1980.  President Carter issued the first Presidential Proclamation declaring the Week of March 8th, 1980 as National Women’s History Week.  In 1987, Congress passed Public Law 100-9, forever designating March as “Women’s History Month.”

This month we honor Christine Ross who was the first woman to attain a CPA license in America.  She passed her CPA exam in June of 1898.  But, the New York Board of Regents didn’t allow women to be granted a license until December 21, 1899.  It took Christine a year and a half to receive her certificate.  She practiced in New York City until early in the 20th century when there were few women accountants.

Today, according to the AICPA, women account for more than 50% of accounting graduates entering the profession.  However, the percentage in which women make up the Partners in accounting firms throughout the U.S. is only about 19%.

Recognizing this type of discrepancy are several professional associations creating initiatives and programs to help women in the accounting industry to succeed.  This focus will hopefully continue to increase the visibility and advancement of women in the profession, influence firm cultures and aide in their advancement, and address the issues that impact them in the profession.

At Bregante + Company LLP, we are proud to say that throughout the entire firm, from Operations to the Partner level, 63% of the firm is made up of women; and, women make up 42% of the Partners in the firm.  We are thrilled to honor them this month.

Learn more at www.WomensHistory.org