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First woman to qualify as a chartered accountant

Ethel Watts

Ethel Watts-Tobin

In 1924, Ethel Watts became the first woman to qualify as a chartered accountant, opening this career path to future generations of women. Not much is known about this pioneering woman except that she studied at Bedford College in 1913 and was active in the movement to secure equality for women from the 1920s to 1960s.

Watts was involved with the London and National Society for Women’s Service, with her main areas of interest being the taxation of married women, the marriage bar in civil service (women were forced to stop working when they married), the issues of superannuation paid by women, and accountancy.

When this establishment became the Fawcett Society, Watts continued to work as their accountant. The Women Chartered Accountants Dining Society established the Watts prize in her memory.



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