BDO Celebrates International Women's Day


Our core purpose at BDO is helping people thrive every day. We believe a diverse workforce makes our firm – and the world around us – stronger. That’s why we celebrate International Women’s Day and its underlying premise that “equality is not a women’s issue, it’s a business issue – and it’s essential for economies and communities to thrive.”
The International Women’s Day 2020 theme of #EachforEqual is rooted in the idea that each of us can help create a gender equal world through our collective “actions, conversations, behaviors and mindsets.” Inclusion is part of BDO’s DNA and we’re proud of our professionals’ collective support in advancing women’s participation and leadership firmwide.
At BDO, we believe diversity & inclusion drives innovation, and innovation drives growth. Teams that have a wide range of backgrounds and perspectives make BDO a better place to work and make us better at what we do. We’re empowering our female professionals by providing access to professional development activities and networking events, which offer our people the opportunity to support each other, speak candidly and share advice about real business issues. We also understand the crucial role that male allies play in the path to equality, which is why we’ve set the goal to have 20% of Women’s Inclusion leadership roles filled by men by end of fiscal year 2020.

As a result of BDO’s commitment to professional advancement and a meaningful range of women’s inclusion strategies, there are now more female professionals serving in leadership positions than ever before. The firm also reached an exciting milestone in 2019 with the appointment of Kelly Johnson as board chair, the first woman to hold this position in the firm’s history.
BDO creates a working environment that is flexible and supportive, as well as professionally rewarding. It is this balanced approach that helps our people achieve their dreams - and ultimately delivers better solutions for our clients. 

BDO Partner Spotlights


Grace Li
National Assurance Partner


Any advice you’d like to share?
Work hard, don’t be afraid to ask questions or seek help, find ways to challenge yourself and make a difference, and build strong relationships with clients, colleagues and mentors. Most importantly, be passionate about your work, seize opportunities and always do your best.
Tell us something about yourself that might surprise others.
I enjoy volunteering on the weekends for various non-profit organizations including Feral Cat Foundation, Meals on Wheels and University of California San Francisco Children’s Hospital. I’ve met amazing volunteers whose generosity and devotion inspire me, and I’ve learned new skills such as building shelters for feral cats and making no-sew scarves for seniors.

How do you describe your job to your kids or parents?
I describe to my family that my job is to protect U.S. investors by making sure registrants’ financial statement are presented fairly. 


Beth Garner
Assurance Partner
National Employee Benefit Plan Assurance Practice Leader

Any advice you’d like to share?
Get in the game! Pick a professional who does a great job at business development and ask to go with them to lunches, dinners and functions. You learn from watching others and by doing it yourself. Ask for feedback. Set weekly business development activities. Choose an accountability partner to keep you on track.
Tell us something about yourself that might surprise others.
In high school and college, I worked at a hardware store where I learned all kinds of things dealing with construction and general maintenance. My knowledge came in handy during my internship at a small CPA firm where I once had to fix the toilet.

How do you describe your job to your kids or parents?
The Department of Labor requires audits of pension plans that have over 100 participants and we perform those audits for companies. We make sure all the money that is supposed to come in and out of those plans is correct.

These are the most common comments:

  • My kids: While on a conference call, “is this a very important person or someone we already know? Oh, we know them can we say ‘Hello?’”

  • My parents: “Where are you traveling this week?”

  • My husband: “Would you please talk about something else besides work?”


Maria Karalis
BDO Board of Directors Member
International Desk Leader for the U.K., Greece and Cyprus
Stamford Assurance Office Managing Partner

Any advice you’d like to share?
Build relationships with professionals in your office, both in your region and nationally. Take ownership of your career and communicate what you aspire to achieve and are interested in doing.
Go outside your comfort zone and try new things. A lot of times people are volunteered by leaders who see certain qualities and opportunities for employees — be open to those. Let people know what you’re interested in. You may not realize an opportunity exists, and leaders may not know you’re interested in something.
Tell us something about yourself that might surprise others.
My parents, both Greek, sent me to kindergarten in the U.S. not knowing a word of English.

How do you describe your job to your kids or parents?
While we don’t have children, between my husband and me, we share eight godchildren. To the younger ones, I describe my job as “verifying what’s in a company’s piggybank.”


Logo of Nafe-Top-Companies-2020

BDO Recognized as Top Company for Executive Women for the Sixth Year

BDO USA is proud to be named a 2020 NAFE Top Company for Executive Women! We work hard to maintain a supportive company culture that identifies, promotes and nurtures successful women. 

“As leaders, we must strive to make equality an aspect of everything we do to help set a new standard for the workplace.”

To help celebrate International Women’s Day, BDO Chief People Officer Cathy Moy highlights three corporate must-haves for building an inclusive culture. 


Women at BDO: A Roundtable Discussion

To give you an inside look into what it’s like to be a woman in accounting – and at BDO – we conducted a roundtable discussion, featuring four talented professionals.