NEW DELHI: Yet another male bastion has been decisively breached. It’s a long-held myth that girls struggle with numbers and finance. Well, try telling that to Maitreyee Narayansing Rajaput, Arti Jain and Charmy Suresh Sheth. The three young women have made history by sweeping the top three all-India positions in this year’s chartered accountancy exam, considered one of the most difficult to clear.
What’s more, the pass percentage of girls surpassed that of the boys. While 2,368 (21.9%) of the 10,816 girls who appeared for the CA finals this year cleared the last hurdle, the pass percentage was 19.8% for the boys, with 4,277 successful aspirants out of the 21,603 who took the exam.
The top rank has been bagged by 21-year-old Maitreyee Narayansing Rajaput of Pune. Speaking to TOI, Rajaput, the daughter of a retired high-school teacher — said she was excited that the top rankers were girls. However, she refused to read too much into the ‘girls versus boys’ debate and said it could be pure coincidence that the top three rankers were females.
Rajaput said she was surprised at her achievement, but had always been good with numbers. “I hope more and more girls will be drawn towards accountancy as a profession,” she said.
The second rank went to Arti Jain of Bikaner, while Charmy Suresh Sheth from Mumbai stood third.
Industry observers said the result reflected a growing trend of young women doing well in the financial sector. “We are really proud of the fact that girls have bagged the top three positions in the CA final exam. While intellectually they are second to none, there is also a sense of comfort that corporates draw while hiring them, though there is no bias,” G Ramaswamy, president of Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI), said.
Sanjhi Agrawal, who topped the CA exams in 2010, said she was not surprised with this year’s results. “Please remember that this is not a one-off and is now a trend. Girls have been regularly topping the CA exams and it was just a matter of time before all the three ranks were bagged by females.”
She added that girls are increasingly opting for a shot at the CA profession. “I passed out from Shri Ram College of Commerce in 2008 and around 50-60% of the students were female,” said Agrawal. A veteran CA, who passed out of SRCC in 1976, pointed out that during his time, only 20 of the 300-odd commerce students were girls.
Agrawal said a large number of girls were getting inclined to chartered accountancy as it was considered a reliable career option. “It offers a very safe and secure position and one is certain to find a good placement and job. Also, the number of girls doing well acts as an inspiration for others.”
Sunil Talati, former ICAI president, said there were a couple of reasons for the higher success of girls in CA exams. “Girls are by and large more sincere, studious and devoted to what they do. This has seen them pick up very well in the CA exams.”