Before anyone could break the glass ceiling, someone had to bust through the front door. Throughout the decades, KPMG has always been an innovator and a trail blazer in the accounting industry, and perhaps our finest example leads us to Mary Randall Shackleton.
Mary is known as the first female auditor to join the firm and is believed to be the first female auditor to join any of the then Big 8 firms back in 1961.
Mary grew up in New Jersey, and in 1957 entered the University of Rochester as a freshman. In her second year, she declared business as her major and focused on the newly offered accounting program. In the fall/winter of 1960 as she was preparing for her last college semester, she was intrigued by the campus recruiters from the Big 8 firms. Six of the eight firms wouldn’t even interview her because she was a woman, even though she was going to graduate at the top of her class – it was a male dominated industry back then and having a female auditor was unheard of at the time. Another firm spoke to her – but that didn’t lead anywhere.