Employee perceptions of LGBTI diversity and inclusion programs within the Australian accounting profession

Matthew Egan, Barbara DE LIMA VOSS

Research output: Contribution to conference (non-published works)Abstract


This study explores the lived experience of LGBTI diversity within the accounting profession in Australia. We look at what is achieved through related initiatives, and the challenges and opportunities for further development.
Semi structured interviews have been undertaken with LGBTI and non-LGBTI staff within one of Australia’s ‘Big Four’ accounting firms through 2017 and 2018, interpreted through a particular form of interpretive discourse analysis.
Our study demonstrates a significant positive shift in the lived experience for LGBTI staff within the accounting profession in recent years. Initiatives for LGBTI staff improve a sense of safety, visibility, and pride, leading in turn to greater productivity and less staff attrition. However, marginalised genders and cultures saw room for improvement with the current additive approach. Further progress might be achieved through a ‘meshing’ approach as suggested by Cronin and King (2010), which seeks to reduce disempowerment and marginalisation. However, the complexity of intersectional diversity suggests a need for careful ongoing attention to power relations.
The study is limited to the perspectives of a small number of interviewees within one firm at a point in time. Further studies could seek to interview a broader number of individuals across other firms. Quantitative studies might also seek to explore our conclusions about staff attrition across a broader population.
The literature currently provides little insight into the lived experience of LGBTI diversity within the accounting profession. Our first study in the Australian context, undertaken at a key moment when ‘marriage equality’ was achieved, opens this field and presents a range of suggestions for further fruitful study.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2018
EventA-CSEAR Conference -
Duration: 5 Dec 20187 Dec 2018


ConferenceA-CSEAR Conference
Internet address


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