Shannan Gardner is a partner at Moss Adams LLP. Her work is focused on providing tax consulting and compliance services to public and private companies in the technology and manufacturing industries. In public accounting since 1995, including 11 years with a Big Four firm, Gardner’s experience includes tax provision assistance, income tax consulting, implementation of internal controls assistance, documentation and computation of uncertain tax positions, consulting relative to tax issues inherent in mergers and acquisitions, and representation of companies under examination by the IRS and state taxing authorities.

Gardner is a key leader of Forum W, an effort focused on attracting, developing, retaining and advancing women. Since the initiative was launched by Moss Adams in 2008, her influence has expanded from advancing women in her office to driving overall strategy as a member of the advisory board. She implemented a mentoring program, created a series of workshops to inspire women to have a long-term career with the firm and acted as a mentor and coach to women across the firm.

“I believe diversity and inclusion means that everyone has a fair shot, removing any unconscious bias that may exist and truly making decisions based upon and individual’s skills and abilities,” says Gardner. “Having a diverse organization means you have individuals with multiple viewpoints from which to tackle opportunities and obstacles. This is vital to an organization that wants to grow and thrive.”

“I have learned to be a leader both by watching our successful leaders lead and through the mentoring that I have received,” she relates. “I try to pay it forward by leading by example and sharing my story with the firm’s women. Every day is an opportunity to learn and to teach.”

Gardner goes on to offer this career advice to other women: “Plan ahead – think about where you want to be in one, five or ten years and make sure you are on the path to get there. Often, professionals get caught up in day-today activities and forget to be strategic. I advise women to plan ahead, so they can choose opportunities that will help steer them toward their goals.”