A Juggling Act: Work/Life Balance in the U.S. Accounting Profession
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The perspective of females in the accounting profession has changed within the past two decades, as women have created a strong presence in the accounting profession. Women struggle with the balance between work and personal life, as well as with the limits in advancement. As a result, firms have implemented “women/choice initiatives,” programs created by firms to offer female employees additional resources utilized as needed and at the discretion of the firm, to endorse the admission, growth, and full participation of women, as well as to promote gender diversity in the firm and the profession. Such programs have proven beneficial, as well as, detrimental for female accountants. Currently, men also utilize these initiatives, thus emphasizing the importance of a balance between personal and professional responsibilities. Minimal research regarding accountants who have benefited or suffered from the implementation of current “work/life balance programs” has been conducted since the explosion of females entering the accounting field in the late 1970s. Data gathered from a work/life balance surveys completed by certified public accountants and accounting students are used to provide current perspectives.