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More women than men applying for professional services positions

The number of women applying for jobs in professional services has overtaken the number of men for the first time, figures suggest.

Records from accountancy and financial services recruiter Randstad Financial & Professional show 1,209 women registered as candidates with it compared to 1,177 men.

The 51% total of women is the highest since the recruiter was established in 1982, and shows a four percentage point increase on numbers in 2012, when 47% of candidates were female.

Randstad Financial & Professional managing director Tara Ricks said the increase was caused by more women studying at top universities, relevant subjects and wanting to work in professional and financial services because of improved flexible employment policies.

“Over the last 10 years, there has been a lot of work done to help organisations understand the links between having a diverse organisation, an inclusive work environment and strong business performance,” she said.

“The training programmes and toolkits are well documented and there isn’t an employer in the Square Mile who would suggest diversity isn’t at the top of their agenda. That’s paying dividends.”

Ricks pointed to figures from the Universities and Colleges Admission Service (UCAS) that showed of the 580,000 people who applied for places at British institutions in 2013, 333,700 of them were women compared to 246,300 – a difference of 87,000.

She also pointed out that 42% of students currently studying maths at degree level were women.

Women make up 44% of full-time accountants in the UK.