Document Type

Conference Paper


This paper traces the campaign by women in Australia to gain admission to accounting bodies. Female membership of accounting bodies was argued to be undesirable because women had neither the nature nor the intelligence for the commercial world. Even if this were not the case, a woman working in the commercial was contrary to nature. Women should be companions to men not competitors. While many men expressed the view that men and women should have equal opportunities, many others actively or passively resisted any movement that would allow women to compete with men within the workplace including the profession of accounting. For almost forty years, women faced opposition to access to all accounting bodies in the UK and Australia. During this time, the rights of men were favoured. There was also a demonstrated fear that these rights would be compromised if women had equal rights to compete in the workforce.