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A Video Conversation with Jane Scaccetti, CEO of Drucker & Scaccetti – Part 5 – Being a Woman in C-Suite

Click Here for Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4 Applying tactical accounting and tax planning expertise to support clients’ business strategies Jane Scaccetti is the CEO of Drucker & Scaccetti, P.C. (D&S), an accounting and tax advising firm headquartered in Philadelphia. For over 25 years, D&S has provided specialized financial consulting services to entrepreneurs as well as private and public corporations and family-owned businesses. The firm refers to its team members as Tax Warriors, emphasizing their discipline, tactical prowess, and passion for vigorously defending clients’ wealth and assets. A preeminent figure in her field, Jane is an accomplished executive, CPA, and community leader. She was the first woman to tax partner of any Big Eight firm in Philadelphia, and has sat on the boards and audit committees of organizations and businesses such as Temple University (where she also taught as a professor), Salus University, Penn National Gaming, Mathematica Policy Research, and The Pep Boys. She is also an influential member of Philadelphia’s 2016 DNC Host Committee and current host of Money Matters TV. Her numerous honors include the Take the Lead Award from the Girl Scouts of Eastern PA (2016), the Temple University Hospital Diamond Award (2014), the Philadelphia Business Journal Outstanding Directors Award (2013), and the PA Best 50 Women in Business Award (2006). Jane Scaccetti spoke with Don Foster, Chair of Offit Kurman’s Commercial Litigation Practice Group, for this interview. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vbsRvKAkO5k DON FOSTER: Can you talk about the number of women involved in your field? JANE SCACCETTI: The statistics change. When I give you the statistics, I like to use a big, round number because it depends on how specific you’re being. But women traditionally in the C-suites—the CIO, CFO, any of the C-level suites, or on the board—are single digits at best representation. What shocked me was a statistic I saw where more than 50% of the graduates in the MBA programs of the Ivy League School are women, so more than 50% are coming out, well trained, as women. If you think of it as a funnel of women coming into the top—and I know that this is going downward—but just the thinning out of that as you get to the C-suite, they’re starting out greater than 50% and they’re ending up at 7% to 10%. So, what happens along the way? For years I didn’t think it was really necessary to belong to a women’s group, because in my mind I didn’t want to be the best women’s accountant—I wanted to be the best accountant. I didn’t see a distinction. I always believed that you should have the best person for the job, not necessarily the best woman for the job. And what I tell the young people that are coming along is “I obviously got it wrong. I couldn’t get us to 50–50, Ss what are you going to do to get us to 50–50?” I think there are a lot of things that need to change. It’s not that there’s no silver bullet that’s going to correct any of it. It’s multifaceted. It may start with just being flexible and understanding that our society still imposes raising children more on women than for men and, therefore, mothers have more of that responsibility than fathers do, and there are exceptions. This is a general statement, so it’s not always applicable, but it’s pretty close. If we allow them to have flex schedules, so if they can work from home one day a week—if they can leave at 3:30, but get back online at 7:30 to finish your project that you only care about getting by 9:00am the next day—that’s a way to encourage women who can both stay in the workforce and still produce and feel like they’re valuable. It really upsets me when I hear someone say, “Well, my wife chose to stay home. She wanted to stay home and raise the children.” And I believe that there are people that want to do that, I just want to make sure that women understand that they can have more than just one or the other, that you can really have both. When I hear someone say, “Can I have it all?” I say, “Yes, as long as you recognize that you may not do all of it perfectly.” I went to Target and brought the kids their Halloween costumes. My good friend Rhonda made her children the Halloween costumes. I think that was okay. My kids were still pretty happy to be Power Rangers, and whatever, it worked for me. This truly happened to me: you need cookies for the next day’s birthday celebration at school. It’s now 7:00 at night. I’m trying to get home from work, and I don’t have the time to make cookies. Am I a bad mom if I stop at the grocery store and buy the cookies already made? I think the kids were fine the next day. They didn’t realize that I didn’t stay up and bake the cookies. I was impressed with a friend who maybe did the Pillsbury ones. You know, I felt, “Wow, look at that: you even had time to put them in the oven.” But as long as your bed might be made every morning, and maybe you really are re-cycling laundry through the dryer instead of the washer because you just want something to smell fresh on your kid when you send them to school, but you do what you need to do because what you want is that fulfillment that comes from being part of your career and having that. I have a daughter who’s 26. It means a lot that I have something that’s meaningful to me, because if I did my job right—and I’m hoping that I did—she wants to move on and go and start her life, and her life is not mine. The children that you think will be with you forever, they will, but they won’t be there in a needing way for you if you’re doing your job well. If your children are healthy, they move on. You need to be ready for when that happens to find something fulfilling, and I think too many times we allow women to take the offramp to their career expecting to come back on at a later point in time and pick up where they left off, and the numbers are showing that’s not happening.  

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