Approved routes and alternative paths: the construction of women's rarity in large accounting firms. Evidence from the Big Four France
AbstractDespite decades of gender-balanced recruitment and clear-cut criteria for promotion based on meritocracy, women in public accounting firms remain proportionally fewer in number in the highest levels of the hierarchy than men. This paper aims to explore the mechanisms fostering women's rarity in top positions within French accounting firms in terms of organizationally constructed approved paths. Drawing on 21 semi-structured interviews with both male and female accountants, the specificities of these approved paths, alongside the construction of alternative, feminised routes, lacking the legitimacy of the former and often implying a derailment of women's careers from a very early stage, will be explored. It is suggested that more than a matter of only lifestyle preferences or practical constraints, this rarity is constructed by the interplay between the two, often resulting in "unintended and unwanted consequences, which retroactively may become unacknowledged conditions of future actions" (Giddens, 1984: 76). The focus of this study is to understand how the discursive and practical components of daily routines contribute to the reproduction of Big Four's gendered culture. Furthermore, this paper invites to question the concept of the glass ceiling and consider the construction of women's rarity in the accounting profession in terms of a labyrinth.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by HAL in its series Working Papers with number halshs-00626044.
Date of creation: 2011
Date of revision:
Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: http://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-00626044/en/
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/
gender; Big Four; career path; lifestyles; constraints; glass ceiling; France;
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Loft, Anne, 1992. "Accountancy and the gendered division of labour: A review essay," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 17(3-4), pages 367-378.
- Gendron, Yves & Spira, Laura F., 2010. "Identity narratives under threat: A study of former members of Arthur Andersen," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 275-300, April.
- Haynes, Kathryn, 2008. "(Re)figuring accounting and maternal bodies: The gendered embodiment of accounting professionals," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 33(4-5), pages 328-348.
- Lehman, Cheryl R., 1992. ""Herstory" in accounting: The first eighty years," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 17(3-4), pages 261-285.
- Nandhakumar, Joe & Jones, Matthew, 2001. "Accounting for time: managing time in project-based teamworking," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 193-214, April.
- Macintosh, Norman B. & Scapens, Robert W., 1990. "Structuration theory in management accounting," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 15(5), pages 455-477.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (CCSD).
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.