Thursday, September 15, 2011

Beverly Mom Wins Women to Watch Award for Accounting

Roberta Chirco
 of Beverly

By Rachel Bell
Gordon College News Service
September 14, 2011
Beverly, MA - Roberta Chirco, 31, a certified public accountant and tax manager at CCR (Carin, Charron & Rosen), has just had a baby girl.

With four years experience as a mother, Chirco also has ten years experience as an accountant. Recently she was honored as an emerging leader in the 2011 Women to Watch Awards by the Massachusetts Society for Certified Public Accountants (MSCPA) who recognized her as a woman making significant contributions in her profession and her community.

“I was a little surprised by the nomination,” she said, “and really honored, because it’s a challenging profession in general and particularly for me as a working mom.”
Chirco is mother of three children aged four years, two years, and three months. Balancing life as both a professional accountant and a mother is not easy. “It’s a zoo,” Chirco said, “but I have a lot of support with the family.”

To take care of the children, Chirco and her husband stagger their work days; she works three days at the office in Boston and two days at home. “But the door swings both ways,” Chirco said. “When work needs to take priority, I get more help at home.”

Besides her career at CCR and her life as a mother, Chirco is Co-Chair of Friends of Cove Park, a volunteer-run committee dedicated to the improvement of their local park. Last year, she helped the group raise $125, 000 in eighteen months even in the middle of a recession. 

This initiative and community dedication is one of the qualities that brought Chirco to the attention of the MSCPA’s Women’s Initiatives Executive Committee, which selects the award winners.

 “She also had two letters of recommendation from her firm that were very strong,” said 30-year-old Kara Kieran, the Communications/Membership Supervisor for the MSCPA and leader of the selection committee. “Roberta was agreed on pretty much unanimously from the beginning.”

The criteria for nominations include demonstration of leadership, unique initiatives, and contribution to the profession. “It’s difficult to fulfill all the categories,” said Jackie Kelley, 30, a co-worker of Chirco, “but Roberta fits that mold to a T.” As one of last year’s recipients, Kelley decided to nominate Chirco for the award this year.

The Women to Watch Award Program was started in 2005 by the American Institute of CPAs. Its purpose is to “highlight the accomplishments of women in the profession, and demonstrate to emerging female leaders that success is not out of reach,” according to the AICPA website. The awards “provide a forum for state societies to lead important conversations about issues their female members face.”

This is the MSCPA’s third year holding the Women to Watch program and they will be hosting a Women’s Leadership Summit on Nov. 2nd at which Chirco and the other four awardees will be honored. The half-day conference will be held at the Westin Waltham and includes keynote speakers, a cocktail and networking reception, all focusing on women in accounting.

Traditionally, accounting has been a male profession. In 2010, however, women made up 60.1 percent of all accountants and auditors, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

“It’s still male dominated at the top,” Chrico said, “but on the staff level it’s about 50/50.”
Kieran says this shift in the profession makes the work and recognition of women like Roberta Chirco essential. “It is so important to see these women role-models in leadership,” she said.


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