Date posted: 12/12/2017 3 min read

Pioneer female CA is an inspiration

Sydney FCA reflects on her pioneering role as a female CA

In brief

  • Pamela Ploughman FCA receives her 70-year Member Milestone award
  • She is described as “an inspiring female CA pioneer”
  • She is still bookkeeping and helping not-for-profit organisations

Pamela Ploughman

Pamela Ploughman FCA and NSW Regional Chair Kate Boorer FCA

“I was always the only girl in the firm,” says Pamela Ploughman FCA who received her 70-year Member Milestone award last month at the New South Wales Anniversary event held in Sydney.

When Pamela started her career in 1947, there were only 20 other female CAs in Australia.

“People were very scornful of my abilities because I was a woman, until I worked with them. Then they found out I was better than many of them.”

She is still bookkeeping, is on the board of children and family service provider Weldon Children’s Services and recently retired as Treasurer of her local Zonta club, a position she held for 21 years.

Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand NSW Regional Manager Alison MacDonald said presenting Pamela her 70 year Member Milestone award was the highlight of the anniversary event.

"I was Australian, I was female and I was young, all unacceptable to audit clients [in London] in the early 1950s."
Pamela Ploughman, FCA

“Pamela has had not just a magnificently long career, but is also an inspiring female CA pioneer. CAs, guests and staff were very keen to speak with her and congratulate her on such an admirable achievement.”

Her remarkable career included three years in London, starting with Deloitte. “I was Australian, I was female and I was young, all unacceptable to audit clients in the early 1950s,” she said in an interview in the 2011 ICAA annual report. “I loved doing audit, but if you want a boring audit, try the London Transport.”

Pamela also helped to calculate the UK bread subsidy during post-war food rationing and audited the first company to slice and wrap bread.

Volunteering and pro bono work are important to Pamela. “I do it to achieve something that is beneficial to the community. I just never give up.” 

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