• Lisa Cullen Edith Cowan University
  • Theo Christopher Edith Cowan University


The present study fills a gap in prior research by examining perceived career barriers of both male and female accountants working in the Western Australian state public sector. A sample of qualified accountants were sent questionnaires requesting them to indicate the level of importance of 24 listed career-related barriers with the option of adding additional barriers. Two additional barriers were added from the responses. Findings observed a number of career-related barriers. The importance of these barriers was found to be related to demographic variables. Correlation analysis found that gender, age, years of experience and years working in the public service were all significantly related of the extent of work-life balance barriers. Age was found to be significantly related to the total of all barriers and individual barriers. Qualifications were also found to be related to external and individual barriers. The implications of the findings are that barriers are present and measures need to be undertaken to remove these barriers.


Anon. (2004) Flexible work lures accountants into public sector. Financial Management. Retrieved: 26January2007 from

Bell, M.P., McLaughlin, M.E., Sequeira, and J.M.(2002) Discrimination, harassment, and the glass ceiling: Women executives as change agents. Journal of Business Ethics, 37 (1) pp 65-76.

Bullen, M.L. and Flamholtz, E.G. (1985) A theoretical and empirical investigation of job satisfaction and intended turnover in the large CPA firms. Accounting Organizations and Society, 10 (3) pp 287-302.

Cannings, K. and Montmarquette, C. (1991) Managerial momentum: A simultaneous model of the career progress of male and female managers. Industrial and Labor Relations Review, 44 (2) pp 212-28.

Cohn, C. (1991) Chiefs or Indians: Women in Accountancy. Australian Accountant, 61 (11) pp 20-30.

Collins, K. M. (1993) Stress and departures from the public accounting profession: A study of gender differences. Accounting Horizons. 7 (1) pp 29-38.

Evans, M.G., Gunz, H.P. and Jalland, R.M.(1997) Implications of organizational downsizing for managerial careers. Revue Canadienne des Sciences de l'Administration, 14 (4) p 359.

Frank, K.E. and Lowe, D.J. (2003) An examination of alternative work arrangements in private accounting practice. Accounting Horizons, 17 (2) pp 139-51.

Gaetner, J., Hemmeter, P. and Pitman, M.K. (1987) Employee turnover in public accounting: A new perspective. The CPA Journal, 57 (8) pp 30-7.

Gammie, E. and Gammie, B. (1995) Women chartered accountants -progressing in theright direction. Women in Management Review, 10 (1) pp 5-13.

Herron M, Woodger A and Beaton G. (1996)Facing the Future: Gender, employment and the best practice issues for law firms: Final report. (Melbourne: Victoria Law Foundation, 1996, pp31-32).

Hoddinott, M. and Jarratt, D. (1998) Gender imbalance in the workforce: An examination of the public accounting profession. Australian Accounting Review, 8 (2) pp 59-67.

Hooks, K.L. and Cheramy, S.J. (1994) Facts and myths about women CPAs. Journal of Accountancy, 178 (4) pp 79-86.

Igbaria, M. and Baroudi, J.J. (1993) A short-form measure of career orientations: A psychometric evaluation. Journal of Management Information Systems, 10(2) pp 131-54.

Judiesch, M.K. and Lyness, K.S. (1999) Left behind? The impactof leaves of absence on manager's career success. Academy of Management Journal, 42 (6) pp 641-51.

Kelsall, M. and Leung, P. (1995) Women in Chartered Accountancy. Institute of charted accounting in Australia Victorian Division and the department of accountancy, RMIT, Melbourne.

Kirchmeyer, C. (2002) Gender differences in managerial careers: Yesterday, today and tomorrow. Journal of Business Ethics, 37 (1) pp 5-24.

Leitchuh, C. (2007) Pivotal. California CPA, 76(3) p 10.




How to Cite

Cullen, L. . ., & Christopher, T. . (2007). PERCEIVED BARRIERS TO CAREER PROGRESSION IN THE WESTERN AUSTRALIAN STATE PUBLIC SECTOR. The Journal of Contemporary Issues in Business and Government, 13(2), 78–95. Retrieved from