Date of Award

Spring 2018

First Advisor

Dr. Karen Schuele


For more than 21 years, women have joined the accounting profession in equal numbers to men, yet women represent just 19% of the U.S. public accounting partner population (Bennett, 2013). This research project looks at the current environment for women in leadership positions in public accounting firms by analyzing perceptions on the work environment for women, work-life balance, and implementation effectiveness of firm initiatives related to the advancement of women. Results from one-on-one interviews and surveys suggest that the perception of the work environment for women in the public accounting profession is positive, but women’s commitment to achieving partnership status in public accounting is lower than their male counterparts. Further, perceptions of women in public accounting leadership positions did not differ between male and female respondents, and across the board, a majority of the respondents agree that is is difficult for males and females at all professional levels to balance family life and work. Also, the results suggest that the most successful strategies to encourage women’s advancement include implementing top-down leadership support for the advancement of women and having visible female role models. The results from this research give insight into a continuing issue within the accounting profession.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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