Despite female accountants now making up half of the industry’s qualified practitioners, outdated work cultures and gender-based discrimination continue to affect their progression.
New research conducted by the University of New England (UNE) has indicated that female practitioners, particularly within regional accounting firms, still feel overwhelming levels of inequality in the workplace when it came to pay, promotions and flexibility.
According to the research and survey results, although women make up half of qualified practising accountants within Australia, these numbers are not translating to senior positions such as principals or partners.
“Gender inequality continues to be reinforced and reproduced by male principals and partners through day-to-day work and social practices,” said Dr Sujana Adapa of the UNE.
“These women felt they couldn’t see themselves progressing into senior roles.”
Unnamed respondents within the survey also indicated that the industry is acutely aware of the prejudice faced by female practitioners.
“Annual pay and incentives are different for men and women working in the profession. Everybody is aware of this discrimination,” one female partner indicated.
“Male accountants spend more time and engage in networking with our high net worth clients out of business hours. They have to be paid extra to keep our business going,” said one male principal at a medium-sized accounting firm.
Pay discrimination, according to the research, continues to be rife as female practitioners struggle to juggle their workplace and family commitments.
“When it comes to pay discrimination it seems male employees are compensated with ‘attractive incentives’ for their engagement with networking-related activities that many women can’t do because of family commitments,” Dr Adapa added.
Several respondents noted that women fail to progress as they require extended periods of leave due to their family obligations, with one male principal even indicating that confidentiality of information may be compromised by these career breaks.
“We are aware that our female staff members are not available out of business hours because of their family commitments. Obviously our male staff members make themselves available for networking with our clients; we have to pay attractive incentives for their out of business hours related work,” another male principal indicated.
SUBSCRIBE TO THE SMSF ADVISER BULLETIN
- 26 Sep 2017ATO set to add new items to SMSF watch listBy Katarina Taurian
- 26 Sep 2017ATO tipped to scrutinise property development and unit trustsBy Jotham Lian
- 26 Sep 2017Statistics reveal full impact of events-based reportingBy Staff Reporter
- 26 Sep 2017Tax advice exemption discrepancy driving away accountantsBy Jotham Lian
- 26 Sep 2017Consultant flags strategies to negate complex ECPI calculationsBy Miranda Brownlee
- 25 Sep 2017Survey results point to major concerns with new reportingBy Miranda Brownlee
- view all
- ATO tipped to scrutinise property development and unit trusts
One big four accounting firm says the ATO has started to zoom in on property development in unit trusts being held in SMSFs and the calculat...read more
- Statistics reveal full impact of events-based reporting
Analysis conducted by SMSF software provider BGL Corporate Solutions has indicated that around 290,000 SMSFs will be affected by the events-...read more
- Tax advice exemption discrepancy driving away accountants
A discrepancy in ASIC’s treatment of licensed and unlicensed accountants in relation to the tax advice exemption instrument is driving acc...read more
- view all