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Diversity and Inclusion
AIA believes that regardless of identity, background, or circumstance, everyone deserves the opportunity to develop their talents and skills to their full potential, to work in a safe, inclusive environment, be rewarded fairly and be recognised for their work, and have a voice on matters affecting them.
At AIA, we value people’s differences and believe diversity and inclusion are vital for the sustainability of our organisation, the accountancy profession, and the economies in which our members operate. The advantages of having a range of perspectives in decision-making, and our board and workforce representing our members is indisputable. Everyone benefits when we embrace and value the diversity of thoughts, ideas, and ways of working that people from different backgrounds, experiences, and identities bring.
We believe it is in the public interest that our governing bodies should be representative of our membership, and representative of society as a whole. In line with our Constitution and Code of Ethics, AIA’s corporate governance structure comprises the Council and several Committees, which are formed of AIA and lay members acting as ‘critical friends’, driving forward the corporate strategy and ensuring we act in the public interest.
Our Council Members reflect the diversity of an international organisation, and we are currently working towards achieving gender balance on the Council within the next five years to reflect the balance within society.
One of AIA’s five key strategic outcomes is to create a workforce of empowered and exceptional people nurtured to achieve shared goals. A vital part of this is our approach to diversity and inclusion; to empowering people by respecting and appreciating what makes them different, in terms of age, gender, ethnicity, religion, disability, sexual orientation, education, and national origin.
We recruit and promote on merit alone; our approach is internally driven and based on the business case that a diverse workforce results in more focused marketing, functions more effectively, and offers greater creativity, whilst enabling staff to operate in a motivational and happy environment. We have fair policies and practices in place.
We work hard to ensure we nurture an inclusive culture that makes people feel respected and valued for who they are, so they can perform to the best of their ability. We aim to engage each individual and ensure they feel valued and essential to the success of the organisation.
We also believe the accountancy profession should reflect the public it serves and as an international organisation, AIA has members in 98 countries worldwide, comprising a diverse range of nationalities and ethnic backgrounds. Currently around 46% of AIA members are women.
Whilst members do need to meet academic and professional requirements for entry, we strive to offer a qualification and membership pathway for everyone, regardless of whether they are a graduate, and regardless of where they are in their careers. We work with colleges and universities to engage with their students and ensure they are informed about the career opportunities in accounting and finance.
AIA is part of Access Accountancy, a collaboration of more than 26 organisations and professional bodies dedicated to improving access to, and progression within, the accountancy profession in the UK. The programme aims to ensure that everyone has an equal chance of accessing the accountancy profession based on merit, not background.
AIA Scholarship Programme
AIA Scholarship Programme
The AIA Educational & Benevolent Trust funds an AIA Scholarships Programme which aims to support students to obtain the AIA professional qualification with full financial assistance. The programme offers awards annually to students from the UK and from the Commonwealth.
The AIA Accountancy Scholarship UK gives priority to applicants from lower socio-economic backgrounds to support the our commitment to Access Accountancy. All course and exam fees for the AIA professional qualification are funded.
The AIA Commonwealth Scholarship is part of our aim as a Commonwealth Accredited Organisation, to support education and economy through financial education and professional skills. This award also covers all course and exam fees for the AIA professional qualification.
We are also signatories to the Good Business Charter, an accreditation that recognises responsible business practices such as a real living wage, fairer hours and contracts, employee well-being, employee representation, diversity and inclusion, environmental responsibility, paying fair tax, commitment to customers, ethical sourcing, and prompt payment.