Women and the accountancy profession : experiences from early entrants to the Nigerian accountancy profession
Ogharanduku, Bridget Efeoghene
MetadataShow full item record
This research contributes to the gender discourse in the accounting profession from a non-Anglo Saxon context. Despite the increase in studies on women accountants, especially in Western contexts and more recently in non-Western contexts, the experience of Nigerian women accountants is absent from the literature. This research contributes to closing this gap in the literature. Moreover, previous studies in the West seem to emphasise gender and race or class in their analysis, but these concepts alone may not provide a holistic understanding of women’s experience in the accounting profession across various contexts. Therefore, this study incorporates marital status, age, religion and ethnicity to the analysis of women’s experience in the accounting profession. The theoretical framework of this research is a combination of critical sociology and intersectional feminism. The aim of the framework was to enable a connection between the institutional structures of accounting and society, and subjective experiences of women accountants in Nigeria. Due to the characteristics of the Nigerian context, the intersectional feminist framework was used to interpret and understand how Nigerian women accountants experienced the profession in subjective ways because of their unique location in the intersections of social differentiators. Empirical evidence was gathered using life history interviews, focus group discussion and archive research. Evidence was drawn from a diverse group of women accountants in public practice, industry and public sector establishments. The study was conducted within an interpretive and qualitative philosophical frame. The findings of this study demonstrate that the marginalisation of women in the accounting profession in Nigeria is connected to an interaction between the institutional structures of accounting which are predominantly androcentric and elitist, and social structures in society which are patriarchal. Thus, the accounting profession in Nigeria reflects the patriarchal arrangements of the Nigerian society. The androcentric structures of the accounting profession does not align with the traditional role of women in Nigeria, therefore, Nigerian women accountants experience important tensions in trying to fulfil both roles simultaneously. However, they are engaging with these androcentric structures in diverse and meaningful ways to achieve their career ambitions as accountants and their traditional roles as mothers and wives. Moreover, the traditional extended family system is contributing positively to the career progression of Nigerian women accountants by providing a network of unpaid support that allows them to transfer their traditional roles to their kinswomen in order to focus on their careers. Further, Nigerian women accountants are utilising the platform of the Society of Women Accountants of Nigeria (SWAN) to negotiate their access and presence in the leadership of the accounting profession in Nigeria.