Successful promotion or segregation from partnership? An examination of the “post-senior manager” position in public accounting and the implications for women's careers

Almer, Elizabeth Dreike; Lightbody, Margaret G.; Single, Louise E.
June 2012
Accounting Forum;Jun2012, Vol. 36 Issue 2, p122
Academic Journal
Abstract: Historically public accounting careers have been “up or out” with progression from staff though senior, manager, senior manager, and ultimately, partner. Recent AICPA data suggests senior managers are increasingly promoted to non-equity “director/principal” positions rather than to partner (). Further, this career path appears to be disproportionately occurring for women. This survey of the membership of the American Women''s Society of Certified Public Accountants (AWSCPA) provides the first descriptive data on the nature and impact of the post-senior manager position from the perspective of senior women accountants and reflects on the gender implications of these findings. Of concern is the early indication that firms may be using such positions to create a ‘reserve force of [partnership-level] labour’. If women are disproportionately appointed to such positions, they may be forming a new source of vertical segregation for women accountants.


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