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LGBTI staff, and diversity within the Australian accounting profession

LGBTI staff, and diversity within the Australian accounting profession Large accounting firms lay claim today to a broad focus on staff diversity and inclusion. Related initiatives focus on gender, culture, age and sexuality. This paper aims to seek insight from publicly available discourse provided by the “Big 4” in Australia (Deloitte, Ernst and Young, KPMG and PwC), along with two second-tier firms, into the nature and drivers of diversity initiatives for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) staff.Design/methodology/approachWeb-based discourse provided as at May 2017 is examined and analysed.FindingsAll six firms provided a range of related disclosures, suggesting that a cultural shift for LGBTI staff was underway. Detail provided on actual policies and procedures was limited, and a struggle was suggested, between balancing the needs of diverse staff, with concerns for some, perhaps, more conservative clients. Some repositioning of arguments was suggested, focussed on shifting responsibility to staff and on shifting the object of celebration from staff to the firm.Research limitations/implicationsThis study is limited to an interpretation of carefully constructed publicly disclosed statements. Further studies could explore the lived experience of these apparent changes with staff.Practical implicationsRecruitment and staff retention continue to be on-going challenges within the accounting profession. This study provides insight into initiatives targeted to support LGBTI staff.Social implicationsAvailing space to bring ‘whole selves’ into the workplace is an important element of creating a pleasant, comfortable and engaging environment for staff. This study provides insight into the perspective of employers on the importance of such initiatives.Originality/valueLittle attention has been directed to exploring sexual diversity in the workplace or to sexuality within accounting studies. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal Emerald Publishing

LGBTI staff, and diversity within the Australian accounting profession

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
2040-8021
DOI
10.1108/sampj-07-2017-0069
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Large accounting firms lay claim today to a broad focus on staff diversity and inclusion. Related initiatives focus on gender, culture, age and sexuality. This paper aims to seek insight from publicly available discourse provided by the “Big 4” in Australia (Deloitte, Ernst and Young, KPMG and PwC), along with two second-tier firms, into the nature and drivers of diversity initiatives for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) staff.Design/methodology/approachWeb-based discourse provided as at May 2017 is examined and analysed.FindingsAll six firms provided a range of related disclosures, suggesting that a cultural shift for LGBTI staff was underway. Detail provided on actual policies and procedures was limited, and a struggle was suggested, between balancing the needs of diverse staff, with concerns for some, perhaps, more conservative clients. Some repositioning of arguments was suggested, focussed on shifting responsibility to staff and on shifting the object of celebration from staff to the firm.Research limitations/implicationsThis study is limited to an interpretation of carefully constructed publicly disclosed statements. Further studies could explore the lived experience of these apparent changes with staff.Practical implicationsRecruitment and staff retention continue to be on-going challenges within the accounting profession. This study provides insight into initiatives targeted to support LGBTI staff.Social implicationsAvailing space to bring ‘whole selves’ into the workplace is an important element of creating a pleasant, comfortable and engaging environment for staff. This study provides insight into the perspective of employers on the importance of such initiatives.Originality/valueLittle attention has been directed to exploring sexual diversity in the workplace or to sexuality within accounting studies.

Journal

Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy JournalEmerald Publishing

Published: Nov 22, 2018

Keywords: Critical discourse analysis; Queer theory; Diversity and inclusion; LLLGBTI; The accounting profession

References