Purpose – To examine if there are systematic gender‐based differences in the perceptions of accounting firm alumni about their experiences with accounting firms. Design/methodology/approach – Alumni of Big 4 firms' offices in two large cities in the USA are surveyed. The analysis is based on responses from 110 alumni who had left the firm within the previous ten years. Findings – Results indicate that women are less likely than men to believe that their former accounting firms developed their abilities to think and express themselves; helped them learn to manage others; and trained them for their present job. Further, women rated the training, personnel evaluation, and counseling programs at their former accounting firms lower than did men. Women were less likely to recommend their former firm to friends and acquaintances, and less likely to inform the former accounting firm about opportunities or pitfalls. Research limitations/implications – Limitations associated with survey research such as non‐response bias must be taken into account. Practical implications – The results suggest that more efforts are needed to bridge the gender gap in the public accounting profession. Originality/value – This study is one of the few that have examined alumni's perceptions about their former firm.
Managerial Auditing Journal – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jun 1, 2005
Keywords: Accounting firms; Sex and gender issues; Employee attitudes; Individual perception; United States of America
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