The only way is up? : An examination of women's “under-achievement” in the accountancy profession in the UK
Lyonette, Clare and Crompton, Rosemary. (2008) The only way is up? : An examination of women's “under-achievement” in the accountancy profession in the UK. Gender in Management: An International Journal, Vol.23 (No.7). pp. 506-521. ISSN 1754-2413Full text not available from this repository.
Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/17542410810908857
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to explore the reasons for the apparent “under-achievement” of mothers working in accountancy, even when at similar levels of qualification to those of fathers.
Design/methodology/approach – Analysis of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales membership dataset was carried out, as well as semi-structured work-life interviews with ten male and ten female chartered accountants with children.
Findings – The paper finds that women do not progress in accountancy to the same extent as men, and earn considerably less. The qualitative evidence suggests that some residual gender discrimination is still present, but more important are the difficulties in combining paid employment with family responsibilities, particularly for those in higher-level positions. Part-time and flexible working carries with it a penalty in relation to both earnings and organisational status. The interviews do provide some evidence of change, however.
Practical implications – While men (and women) continue to work very long hours in the UK, while the gender pay gap persists, and while women continue to take on the majority of childcare and housework, women are also likely to “choose” to work below their abilities, especially when economic pressures are not a primary issue.
Originality/value – By adopting a mixed-methods approach, the paper highlights that, while workplace-related barriers still hinder mothers' career progression in accountancy, the division of domestic labour is at least, if not more, important.
|Item Type:||Journal Article|
|Subjects:||H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
H Social Sciences > HF Commerce > HF5601 Accounting
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
|Divisions:||Faculty of Social Sciences > Institute for Employment Research|
|Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH):||Women accountants -- Great Britain, Accounting -- Great Britain, Career development, Wages -- Working mothers -- Great Britain, Sex discrimination in employment -- Great Britain, Equal pay for equal work -- Great Britain, Work-life balance|
|Journal or Publication Title:||Gender in Management: An International Journal|
|Publisher:||Emerald Group Publishing Ltd.|
|Page Range:||pp. 506-521|
|Access rights to Published version:||Restricted or Subscription Access|
1. Acker, J. (1990), "Hierarchies, jobs, bodies: a theory of gendered organizations'", Gender & Society, Vol. 4 No. 2, pp. 139-58.
2. Anderson-Gough, F., Grey, C. and Robson, C. (1999), "Accounting professionals and the accounting profession: linking conduct and context", working paper, UMIST/University of Cambridge, Cambridge.
3. Anderson-Gough, F., Grey, C. and Robson, C. (2001), "Tests of time: organizational time-reckoning and the making of accountants in two multi-national accounting firms", Accounting, Organizations and Society, Vol. 26, pp. 99-122.
4. Baruch, Y. (2004), "Transforming careers: from linear to multidirectional career paths. Organizational and individual perspectives", Career Development International, Vol. 9 No. 1, pp. 58-73.
5. Bianchi, S., Milkie, M., Sayer, L. and Robinson, J. (2000), "Is anyone doing the housework? Trends in gender division of labor", Social Forces, Vol. 79, pp. 191-228.
6. Cooper, C., Lewis, S., Smithson, J. and Dyer, J. (2001), Report on Stage One of "Flexible Futures: Flexible Working and Work-life Integration in the Accountancy Professions", Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, London.
7. Crompton, R. and Sanderson, K. (1986), "Credentials and careers", Sociology, Vol. 20 No. 1, pp. 25-42.
8. Crompton, R. and Sanderson, K. (1990), Gendered Jobs and Social Change, Unwin Hyman, London.
9. Crompton, R., Dennett, J. and Wigfield, A. (2003), Organisations, Careers and Caring Policy Press, Bristol, PA.
10. Crompton, R. and Lyonette, C. (2005), "The new gender essentialism - domestic and family 'choices' and their relation to attitudes", British Journal of Sociology, Vol. 56 No. 4, pp. 601-24.
11. Crompton, R. (2006), Employment and the Family: The Reconfiguration of Work and Family Life in Contemporary Societies, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
12. Crompton, R. and Lyonette, C. (2008), "Who does the housework? The division of labour within the home", in Park, A., Curtice, J., Thomson, K., Phillips, M. and Johnson, M. (Eds), British Social Attitudes: The 24th Report, Sage, London.
13. Crompton, R. and Lyonette, C. (2008), "'Mothers' employment, work-life conflict, careers and class", in Scott, J. et al. (Eds), Women and Employment, Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd, Cheltenham.
14. Cross, C. and Linehan, M. (2006), "Barriers to advancing female careers in the high-tech sector: empirical evidence from Ireland", Women in Management Review, Vol. 21 No. 1, pp. 28-39.
15. Devine, F. (1994), "Segregation and supply: preferences and plans among 'self-made women' gender", Work and Organization, Vol. 1 No. 2, pp. 94-109.
16. Edwards, P. and Wajcman, J. (2005), The Politics of Working Life, Oxford University Press, Oxford.
17. Elliott, J., Dale, A. and Egerton, M. (2001), "The influence of qualifications on women's work histories, employment status and earnings at age 33", European Sociological Review, Vol. 17 No. 2, pp. 145-68.
18. Gammie, B. and Gammie, E. (1997), "Career progression in accountancy - the role of personal and situational factors", Women in Management Review, Vol. 12 No. 5, pp. 167-73.
19. Grant, L., Yeandle, S. and Buckner, L. (2005), Working Below Potential: Women and Part-Time Work, Equal Opportunities Commission Working Paper Series 40, Equal Opportunities Commission, Manchester.
20. Harkness, S. (2003), "The household division of labour: changes in families' allocation of paid and unpaid work 1992-2002", in Dickens, R., Gregg, P. and Wadsworth, J. (Eds), The Labour Market under New Labour, Palgrave, Basingstoke.
21. Jackson, C. and Hayday, S. (1997), Accountants with Attitude: A Career Survey of Women and Men in the Profession, Institute of Employment Studies, Brighton.
22. Kanter, R.M. (1977), Men and Women of the Corporation, Basic, New York, NY.
23. Lewis, S. (2007), "Working time, client time and family time: accounting for time in the accountancy profession", in van der Lippe, T. and Peters, P. (Eds), Competing Claims in Work and Family Life, Edward Elgar, Cheltenham.
24. Maxwell, G.A., Ogden, S.M. and McTavish, D. (2007), "Enabling the career development of female managers in finance and retail", Women in Management Review, Vol. 22 No. 5, pp. 353-70.
25. Schein, V.E. (2007), "Women in management: reflections and projections", Women in Management Review, Vol. 22 No. 1, pp. 6-18.
26. Smithson, J., Lewis, S., Cooper, C. and Dyer, J. (2004), "Flexible working and the gender pay gap in the accountancy profession", Work, Employment & Society, Vol. 18 No. 1, pp. 115-35.
27. Twomey, A.M., Linehan, M. and Walsh, J.S. (2002), "Career progression of young female accountants: evidence from the accountancy profession in Ireland", Journal of European Industrial Training, Vol. 26 Nos 2/3/4, pp. 117-24.
28. Wass, V. and McNabb, R. (2006), "Pay, promotion and parenthood amongst women solicitors", Work, Employment & Society, Vol. 20 No. 2, pp. 289-308.
29. Williams, J. (2000), Unbending Gender, Oxford University Press, Oxford.
30. Collinson, D. (2005), "Dialectics of leadership", Human Relations, Vol. 58 No. 11, pp. 1419-42.
31. Darton, D. and Hurrell, K. (2005), People Working Part-time Below their Potential Manchester: Equal Opportunities Commission, available at: www.eoc.org/research.
Actions (login required)