First Female CEOs at a Big Four Accounting Firms


My first job upon graduating from college was at KPMG, then known as Peat Marwick. Today KPMG is a big four accounting firm with a global network in 155 countries and more than 162,000 people working in member firms. KPMG placed a high degree of emphasis on training and the training I received was thorough, practical and assisted in my transition from school to the working environment.

I was part of the audit team at KPMG and visited many different companies throughout Illinois and Wisconsin.  The lessons learned were invaluable – particularly as I viewed the leadership styles of the different management teams at our clients and the divergent cultures at the companies we visited.  I participated in many meetings with these companies’ management teams and observed different communication styles. The training I received at my first job was invaluable in forming me into the leader that I am today, ultimately leading up to becoming the CEO of TranzAct. 


At KPMG, I learned many valuable lessons that would help me become an effective leader. I was especially thrilled to see that KPMG is the first of the big four to select a woman, Lynne Doughtie, to serve as both its CEO and chairwoman beginning this July.  I was also excited to learn that Cathy Engelbert was chosen as chief executive of Deloitte this year and entered the role in March.

According to a New York Times article, “Ms. Doughtie’s early advantage was having a role model in her own mother, a successful businesswomen who ran a family trucking business, among others.” She will now serve as a role model to many others.

Also, as an avid golfer, I want to recognize KPMG’s efforts to promote women’s golf. KPMG sponsors the Women’s PGA Championship and is also currently sponsoring women’s golfer Stacy Lewis.

Thank you to KPMG for recognizing the value of women in the workplace.  Thank you to all those companies who recognize the value of women in the workplace.

While there have been many negative events in the news this summer (Iran, Greece), it’s important to remember that there are still positive trends happening at the same time. This is why I wanted to share this news and offer my congratulations.

Be encouraged and keep pushing forward!