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IWD2019 – Meet the women of TaxKings

This International Women’s Day, we’re celebrating our two longest serving employees – Sharon and Clare – and our newest contractor, Dana. Since TaxKings started back in 2008 we’ve had more women employees than men, it’s only been in recent years that this trend has shifted and we’ve got more men than women, but the women are very much in charge!

Sharon Smith

Sharon joined TaxKings in 2009 as an admin assistant working 1 day/week. She now runs the payroll and self assessment side of the business as well as being an all ‘round woman in charge. Described often in the office (mostly by Abid and JD when they want paid) as a “marvellous woman”, Sharon very much keeps us all in check.

Why did you get into accountancy?
Out of sheer interest of the subject, as sad as that sounds!

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
The first thing I wanted to be was a fashion designer but I changed my mind and wanted to do silversmithing. Actually ended up doing a degree in architecture but spent most of my career in retail.

If you could have dinner with one person, dead or alive, who would it be?
Oooh that’s a hard one. If they were alive, and it’s probably because I’m listening to him now, Stephen Fry ‘cause I think he’d have some great stories. Not sure about dead.

What do you think are the biggest challenges women face in 2019?
Gender pay gap and women in senior positions – both getting there and getting paid properly. It’s got better but there are still loads of challenges for women. We’re lucky that we can talk about these things as problems but there are women out there being treated abysmally like the women in Nepal who are banished for something as normal as having a period.

What’s the nerdiest thing you do in your spare time?
I roleplay with pathfinder….doesn’t get much nerdier!

Who is your favourite woman in the world?
My mother in law.

Clare Doherty

Clare joined the company as her first accountancy role on the back of her maternity leave in 2014. Coming up for 5 years with the company now she has gone from working 2 days/week to managing the limited company side of the business as well as pushing the digital tax aspect and qualifying as a Certified Chartered Accountant through ACCA.

Why did you get into accountancy?
Honestly, I went to a university open day and the subject that I wanted to do didn’t work with the qualifications that I had so I had to come up with a plan b. The accountancy department gave me a lollypop (a cola flavoured chuppa chupp none the less) and here I am!

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I don’t remember having a specific thing that I wanted to be. I do remember talking about being a mathematician at one point but I’m not sure I really knew what that was. I’m still not sure if I know what that is!

If you could have dinner with one person, dead or alive, who would it be?
If I can be really soppy I’d say my granny, but I assume it has to be a celebrity? [Us: Yes] Okay, so…the Obama’s would be pretty cool. If I had to pick just one I’d definitely go with Michelle. Oh, or Kurt Cobain but I’m not sure we’d have much in common.

What do you think are the biggest challenges women face in 2019?
Equality is still a huge issue in my opinion. As a women, particularly a (relatively!) young woman I feel like I have to prove myself to be taken seriously alongside my male counterparts.

What’s the nerdiest thing you do in your spare time?
I don’t know if I do anything particularly nerdy, I do like Harry Potter too much for an adult if that counts? I also crochet but I feel that’s more pensioner than nerd.

Who is your favourite woman in the world?
My mum – I’d be totally lost without her. My daughter too, she’s only 5 but she is going to be a force to be reckoned with.

Dana Dunne

Dana has joined us recently as a contractor and has slotted into the team like she’s always been here. After around 6 years in the industry she brings a wealth of knowledge of accountancy but her common sense can sometimes be lacking…

Why did you get into accountancy?
The truthful answer? Well, I thought to myself “what makes a good living?” and I figured, a doctor, lawyer or accountant. I don’t like blood and I can’t talk in front of people, but I was good with numbers so I decided on accountant.

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Probably a dancer. But I thought, “you can’t dance all your life” so I had to do something else. I wanted to be a mechanic at one point too, but my dad wouldn’t let me help!

If you could have dinner with one person, dead or alive, who would it be?
I’d rather have a party if that’s an option? I’d probably spill something at a dinner. I’d have to say Paul Walker. The Fast and the Furious upsets me every time!

What do you think are the biggest challenges women face in 2019?
It’s different in different parts of the world but there’s still a lot of discrimination in the wider view of society. Another huge challenge is how women treat each other; there’s still a huge trend of putting each other down.

What’s the nerdiest thing you do in your spare time?
I think I’m quite cool, actually!

[Sharon: You’re a bit of a car nerd, are you not?]

Well yeah, but I think that’s quite cool!

Who is your favourite woman in the world?
Got to be my ma’!


We’re proud to be an equal opportunities and living wage employer. We will always continue to fight against the stereotype of accountancy being a middle aged man’s profession; between Sharon’s pink hair, Dana’s petrol head and Clare’s tattoos and glittery Doc Marten’s we’re certainly doing our bit.

So here’s to women everywhere; may we know them, may we be them and may we raise them.

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