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Senior Accountant & Auditor from Mitten Clarke, Jackie Crane, secured the much sought-after Inspiration Award (National & Global Practice) at the Women in Accountancy and Finance Awards 2020.

The awards honour the inspiring achievements of women across all segments of accountancy and will also help shape the discussion to improve diversity within the sector by highlighting forward-thinking initiatives. Unable to come together to hold a grand fanfare, the winners were revealed at a live digital ceremony on Friday, 16 October.

Attracting stiff competition, the Inspiration category was open to women in the UK accountancy profession who have made an impact within their role in difficult or challenging circumstances.

Joining the profession at the tender age of 18 as an apprentice within a South-West accountancy firm, Jackie worked and studied for her AAT and ACA professional qualifications. Whilst studying she successfully became chair of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) student society and aimed to open up conversations about tough and taboo topics, share her personal experiences and challenges and to give other students a voice.

It hasn’t always been smooth running for Jackie and very early on in her 10-year career, she experienced bullying from a male colleague who seemed determined to undermine her work and stifle her progression whilst also dealing with a difficult relationship with her family. Eventually Jackie’s self-esteem hit an all-time low and she felt like she had lost her identity. But, as the master of her own destiny, she bravely sought help from a counsellor and got her life and career back on track. Sharing her story, she has worked hard to break down barriers and support ICAEW students across the country.

The judges said, “Jackie is very inspiring and real, her strength and courage has taken her to where she is now and securing this award is great recognition of that”.

Joining Mitten Clarke at the beginning of 2020, working across both the Stoke-on-Trent and Manchester offices, Jackie’s career is on an upward trajectory, working hard to deliver for her clients whilst supporting trainees within the business.

Upon winning the award Jackie shared, “It is a great honour to receive this award for inspiring others within the industry. I hope trainees especially, but individuals working at all levels, can learn from my experiences. I have always been open about the struggles that I have faced and I want them to know that they can ask for support and advice, they’re not in it alone”.

“My role at Mitten Clarke has enabled me to continue my passion of developing people, whilst continuing to deliver great work for my clients.”

Proud mentor, Mitten Clarke Client Service Director, Lindsey Shepherd, said “Jackie never fails to inspire me and I enjoy watching her grow both professionally and personally. Jackie will continue to progress rapidly and has a powerful ambition driving her forward. She is intelligent, professional, empathetic and, in the face of adversity, strong.

“Winning this award is an accolade and credit to the hard work that she puts in, day in and day out.”

After celebrating at the digital ceremony, the party didn’t stop there, with Jackie and her partner enjoying an early evening meal and cocktails at The Ivy in Manchester.

More information on Women in Accountancy & Finance Awards 2020 can be found online here: www.womeninaccountancyandfinanceawards.com/