Reasons why female audit managers resign from audit firms

Jurika Groenewald, Elza Odendaal, Adele Bezuidenhout

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    In audit firms, the underrepresentation of women at partner level is a worldwide phenomenon. The purpose of this study is to explore the experiences of female audit managers, to determine why they resigned from their respective firms. An exploratory qualitative research approach and an interpretative phenomenological analysis design were used, in which semi-structured interviews were conducted with a select group of former female audit managers. These women highlighted a lack of clear progression paths, audit firms run by the “old boys’ club”, a lack of female role models and no work-life balance as the main reasons for their resignation. These findings are of interest to researchers involved in gender- related matters in the auditing profession as well as senior members of audit firms responsible for ensuring the integrity and quality of their talent pool.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)87-97
    Number of pages11
    JournalSouthern African Journal of Accountability and Auditing Research
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 31 Dec 2019


    • exploratory qualitative research
    • female audit managers
    • glass ceiling
    • interpretative phenomenological analysis
    • retention
    • turnover
    • underrepresentation of women and women in management positions


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