International Women’s Day: Marie Pegram

Marie joined UHY in 2008 to train with the audit team, and has stayed with the firm throughout, evolving, developing and progressing to become the Managing Partner of our UHY East firm, following her appointment to the role in September last year. 

With a specialism in advising clients in the recruitment sector, Marie has always focused on building her presence in the accounting industry, leading to her recognition in the Accountancy Age ‘35 under 35’ list in 2016, which represents the “best and brightest accounting practice talent in the UK”.

We wanted to know what Marie felt was pivotal to her amazing progression through the ranks, and how UHY had helped her to prosper, as our UHY purpose promises to do. We also wanted to know how she achieves balance between her work and personal life while doing so. 

One of Marie’s prime examples of balancing work and pleasure came quickly after qualification. Once ACA qualified, Marie took some time out to travel to Asia and South America before returning to UHY. 
On her return, an exciting prospect awaited Marie; the potential to create a new area of sector specialism for the firm – the recruitment sector.

Of this foray into pastures new, Marie said, “I had the freedom and the autonomy to develop this new sector, creating a new service offering and looking for and implementing bespoke software into the firm in order to do so. During this time, I came to the realisation that my strength lies in business development….not auditing!”

As demonstration of her abilities in the BD area, the recruitment sector is now the fastest growing sector within the UHY East firm. Marie and the firm have built a close working relationship with Apsco, an international recruitment trade body, with whom they work as corporate partners to support their members and UHY clients.

But with her combined focus on the recruitment sector and leading a large and successful accounting firm, how does Marie find time for herself?

“As someone who dislikes missing out, balancing my professional and personal commitments has always been a challenge. But failing to do so can lead to burnout.

To maintain equilibrium, I focus on what’s truly important, and for me, that’s spending quality time with loved ones. I'm mindful of my time by setting realistic expectations, using my outlook calendar to block out project time, and creating a 'today' list of no more than five critical tasks. It's vital to build a team around you with shared values and working styles. Such a team creates a strong support network, facilitating effective delegation and collaborative efforts towards a common goal.

But my key recommendation would be to properly switch off when you’re at home. Take the dog for a walk, read a book, prepare dinner, do something that gives you time to unwind and collect your thoughts. Only then can you be present with your family and avoid overworking yourself.”

On International Women’s Day, we wanted to know how, or if, Marie felt the profession had changed during her career in its approach to diversity and inclusion. Marie told us that, despite some progress, it’s clear to her that the accountancy industry still remains male-dominated. The percentage of female partners in the Top 20 accounting firms in the UK ranges from 14% to 36%, highlighting the low representation of women in leadership roles.

However, Marie acknowledged that many firms have implemented measures to increase diversity and inclusivity, such as expanding their candidate pool and offering diversity training programs. She added “COVID-19 has also led to more inclusive working arrangements, accommodating the needs of parents with young children and other groups.

In the future, there will likely be a continued emphasis on diversity and inclusion within the industry, with a focus on improving representation for underrepresented groups like women, ethnic minorities, and people with disabilities. Additionally, AI has the potential to play a significant role in recruitment by selecting candidates and removing bias.”

Marie is just one of the examples of amazing women leading our UHY firms. Marie sits on the Board of the national UK Group and the UK’s Group Executive Committee and is dedicated to progressing strategy, both at local and national levels, and to ensuring UHY continues on its journey to being a purpose-led firm. 

In-line with our purpose of helping you prosper, we asked Marie what she sees ahead for her future with UHY, and she told us “recently, I have been appointed managing partner of UHY East, and I am thrilled about this new chapter in my career. There is a lot of opportunity ahead, and with the excellent team we have in place, I am eager to see what the future holds.”  


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