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New York Times Article: Why the World Needs More Black Accountants

The field of accounting is overwhelmingly white. Rumbi Bwerinofa-Petrozzello, a forensic accountant, wants to change that.

Rumbi Bwerinofa-Petrozzello, Laylah Amatullah Barrayn for The New York Times

By Wadzanai Mhute for the New York Times

The field of accounting is overwhelmingly white, a racial group that makes up 84 percent of all certified public accountants in the United States. Of the nonwhite groups, just 2 percent are Black, according to a report published in 2019 by the Association of International Certified Public Accountants.

Rumbi Bwerinofa-Petrozzello, a forensic accountant, wants to change that dynamic. Earlier this month, she became the first Black woman to become president of the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants, an organization that represents 24,000 lawyers, bankers and other professionals from associated industries.

Originally from Zimbabwe, Ms. Bwerinofa-Petrozzello has spent her career challenging the status quo and pushing for greater representation in her field. After graduating from Mount Holyoke with degrees in economics and mathematics, she worked as an auditor at Deloitte in Zimbabwe while also studying for a bachelor’s in accounting science at the University of South Africa. She returned to the United States in early 2000 where she worked as an accountant for several years before becoming a certified public accountant.

I recently talked to her about her trajectory, her leadership and how her work might inspire young Black students to find a career in accounting. Our conversation has been lightly edited.

Read the full article on NYTimes.com