Women have more opportunities to expand their career aspirations than ever before, so many view it as being acutely relevant. However, although women now account for more than half of the work force, there is still a considerable gap in the representation of women in the top leadership positions within their organizations. This trend is especially prevalent in public accounting firms. Drilling down to the root cause of gender inequality in firm management reveals several key obstacles that women face including generational gender biases, inflexible work schedules, insufficient career development training, and limited visibility of other female leaders. The negative implications of uneven gender distribution in upper management leave a potential for firms to miss opportunities for diverse perspectives on innovations, solutions, and advancement in the industry. Furthermore, firms make tremendous investments on extensive training of their professionals throughout the entire length of their careers, so high turnover rates cause a significant loss to each firm's investment in their human capital. So, public accounting firms have made considerable investments to develop resources and programs in order to combat the issues that create gender inequality and uneven turnover. The thesis begins by reviewing the Ann Hopkins v. Price Waterhouse trail, which was a pivotal point in changing how public accounting firms treat and prevent sex discrimination within their organizations. The rest of the thesis analyzes the correlation between the barriers that are most frequently linked to hindering women's success in public accounting and the programs that firms have installed to address those barriers. It also addresses qualitative accounts from female CPAs on the actual effectiveness of their firm's programs on the longevity of their careers in public accounting, as well as perspectives from current Accountancy students on the relevancy of diversity and inclusion programs.
- An Analysis of the Relevancy of Women's Initiative Programs in Public Accounting
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