Woman of the Day 2019: Joyce Evans

Woman of the Day 2019 campaign

To commemorate International Women’s Day and celebrate women in all areas of their lives, the BCCTC launched in 2017 a “Woman of the Day” campaign featuring women that we know through our networks. The campaign profiles a variety of women, from entrepreneurs to those established on the corporate ladder, to demonstrate the huge amount that has been achieved by women in Canada so far. Their interviews also provide an insight into the issues they have faced and their opinions on issues that women still face in business in 21st Century Canada.

 
BCCTC’s Woman of the Day is: Joyce Evans

Joyce is a member of The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), which was established specifically to open up the profession to people of all backgrounds based solely on their ability. Opportunity and diversity are two of our core values that guide our work today.

Key stats:

  • Of the 34 ACCA Council members, 21 are women (61%)
  • ACCA’s Executive Team is 50 / 50 balance
  • ACCA leadership 55% female

One of our Canadian members has been representing female finance professionals across the industry for many years. Joyce Evans is well known in our industry for her tireless advocacy to advance the accounting profession as well as her dedication to global understanding.

Joyce, now retired, was the director of revenue and deputy city treasurer for the city of Kitchener, Ontario. Trained in municipal treasury and accounting in England, her career has been largely focused in the public sector in both the UK and Canada, along with some private sector experience in manufacturing and service industries.

Joyce has worked with ACCA members and students from many jurisdictions including the UK, the Caribbean, Surinam and Asia for over 20 years to advance the accounting profession. She is a chartered director (C. Dir) and a volunteer member of IFAC’s Professional Accountants in Business Committee.

Joyce was thrilled to have been able to volunteer in disaster relief efforts in Sri Lanka following the tsunami there in 2004. The country needed accountants to come to Sri Lanka to help rebuild, as many of their records, which were paper-based, had been damaged or lost. She really enjoyed working right alongside Sri Lankan colleagues to help them become more automated and develop better policies.

Joyce loves working on global councils and boards, where accountants from across the world sit together and discuss the issues they face. She says it gives you a different perspective. “While our African colleagues, for example, might face different issues day to day, in the end accounting is accounting. It doesn’t matter where you live, we all will just face different challenges.”

The global nature of ACCA is part of why membership is so important to Joyce. “It has been my passion most of my life, to support the profession and anyone in the profession,” she said.

1) What is your experience of a glass ceiling?

When I came to Canada in the mid-1960s, I was a young woman with qualifications but they were not recognized. I did a lot of clerical work and temp work. After I had my children I went into book keeping, and then when I was 38 years old I started studying to become a CGA (now CPA). It was very hard work, and I distinctly remember my economics teacher telling me that he didn’t think I’d make it. I said, “You don’t know me very well.”

I’ve never looked back. I’ve always volunteered in accounting associations. Over the years it is becoming better, but the glass ceiling is not broken. I just retired, and I thought maybe I’d see the glass ceiling broken in my lifetime.

I think we still have a lot of work to do. You have to work extremely hard and look for your opportunities and make sure you are qualified to get into the senior roles. There are opportunities but you have to really find them. And we have support each other, as women in business.

2) What advice do you have for others in business, particularly women?  

You must be a role model and support each other. I think one of the biggest challenges can be when women don’t support each other.

Share your knowledge, and mentor and support one another. I made sure I shared my knowledge and encouraged people to get ahead, so everyone could develop to their full potential. I’ve mentored many women in my career, and I’ve seen them succeed. It’s amazing to see people grow.

3) What is your opinion on quotas and the gender pay gap?

In the early days of course, the gender pay gap was a real problem. Now that Canada has legislated equal pay for equal work, it is much better. However when you look globally, in many places it is very difficult for women to have the same opportunity. It’s going to take a long time to get past that at a global level. Everyone should be paid fairly.

4) Are you aware of government certifications and schemes for women in business? 

Yes, I am aware of some of them, there are a lot of programs in Canada such as funding grants and training opportunities.

I took my training at Western (Ivey School of Business), where there is a Women in Business certification, and I believe that Rotmans & Queens have similar offerings. Finally it seems that there is recognition that women are the fastest growing group of entrepreneurs, and the related funding and training that comes with that recognition. There is much more support than there was in the past. It’s important to make sure people know about what is out there, and to tell your colleagues about any opportunities.