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Gender Differences in Public Accountant Job Burnout
Cindy Guthrie, Ambrose Jones

Last modified: 2011-09-27


Although the proportion reached parity in 2010, public accounting firms have hired more women than men over the past ten years. In 2010, 45 percent of professional staff and 40 percent of CPAs in public firms were female (AICPA 2011). Women have made significant progress in the profession; nevertheless, only 21 percent are partners (18 percent in firms with more than 200 staff) (AICPA 2011). This imbalance clearly shows that women exit public accounting firms at a greater rate than men. Studies have investigated causes of women’s decisions to leave the profession (e.g. Collins 1993; Dalton et al. 1997), as well as the effectiveness of firms’ initiatives to retain women professionals (e.g. Almer and Kaplan 2002; Johnson et al. 2008; Kornberger et al. 2010). Several studies focusing on public accountants have established job burnout as a significant correlate of job outcomes such as turnover intention (Fogerty et al. 2000; Almer and Kaplan 2002; Jones et al. 2010); however, extant research has not explored gender differences in the burnout construct.