International Women's Day 2024 - Blog by Trainee Accountant Nikita

Photo of Nikita White

It's International Women's Day 2024. This year's IWD theme is 'Inspire Inclusion', about inspiring others to understand and value women's inclusion in order to forge a better world.

To mark the occasion we caught up with our colleague Nikita White, a third-year Trainee Accountant at the NIAO, to discuss her career to date and what the importance of inclusion is to her.

To provide some background, Nikita, can you start by telling us what inspired you to join the Northern Ireland Audit Office?

The Northern Ireland Audit Office works to make sure that public money is spent properly, auditing public sector bodies to make a positive difference to the lives of the people of Northern Ireland. As a Politics student with a background in Mathematics, the NIAO seemed like the perfect fit for me. I joined the NIAO in 2021 as a Graduate Trainee and am now in my final year of training to become a Chartered Accountant. I will be taking my final exams this August and, once my experience log is complete I will be able to work as a qualified Auditor. 

We're marking International Women’s Day 2024 and the theme this year is Invest in women: Accelerate progress. In terms of your own career progression, what do you feel have been the key opportunities or experiences that have helped you?

The Office has supported my training by facilitating courses, granting study leave and providing various other learning and development opportunities. I have attended sessions such as interview training, diversity awareness training and mental health first aid training to further my skills and ability to contribute to the wider office environment. The NIAO has also aided my professional development in multiple other ways, such as facilitating my attendance at leadership and governance events, as well as supporting me to join our internal Risk Working Group. This helps ensure I gain a wide range of experience across all areas of our workplace which aids my career development and provides insight into various aspects professional life. 

On that theme of inclusion and support, as we mark International Women’s Day 2024, what are your thoughts on the importance of inclusion?

It’s great to work in an organisation that strives to provide an equitable, inclusive and diverse place to work. That’s demonstrated in the NIAO’s HR initiatives and in our internal policies. Additionally, I’ve been given the opportunity to participate in various office groups such as the Wellbeing Committee, ED&I Committee. The office exhibits their commitment to supporting women (inside and outside our organisation) in various ways, for example, our Comptroller and Auditor General, Dorinnia Carville is a mentor on the SistersIn Leadership Programme (a Programme designed to help young women progress in their careers). The NIAO has a majority female workforce with multiple women in senior roles, including the first female Comptroller and Auditor General in Northern Ireland and as a young woman at the beginning of her career I feel supported and empowered by the NIAO. 

This International Women’s Day it’s great to recognise and celebrate the women in the NIAO and their work as public servants.

NIAO Celebrating International Women's Day 2024