Research Repository

The Voice Behind The Veil: Working Experiences of Saudi Female Accountants

Alsudairi, Fahdah Sultan Abdulrahman (2015) The Voice Behind The Veil: Working Experiences of Saudi Female Accountants. PhD thesis, University of Essex.


Download (2MB) | Preview


Work opportunities for Saudi women have been constrained by cultural, social and religious restrictions. Accountancy is traditionally a male-only field until female Saudi accountants have recently begun to find positions in Saudi audit firms. These women are consequently in a new situation in which they have to deal with various challenges and obstacles. This thesis aims to explore and analyse the impact of the cultural, social, economical and religious context of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the professional or governmental regulations that could hinder women’s entry into or career advancement within the profession. The study also explores the nature of Saudi CPA firms by analysing their structure, working environment, and values that could hinder the career development of female Saudi accountants. The contribution of this research has been to reveal the personal narrative of female accountants in a society that does not often allow the voice of women to be heard. The thesis employs feminist standpoint theory in order to provide a platform for the participants to speak about their work and private lives. The research methodology involves the implementation of symbolic interactions role theory in order to analyse the interactions between the female accountants and other people at work and in their private lives. The data collection method comprises semi-structured interviews with eleven female Saudi accountants working in audit firms in Saudi Arabia. The main findings indicate that the patriarchal ideology embedded within the social structure and cultural norms of the country impose certain barriers that hinder a full and equal participation of working women in general and female Saudi accountants in particular. The study suggests that, despite these barriers, some factors related to the economic situation and government regulations, serve to support (to an extent) the entry of women into, and career development within, the accounting profession.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HF Commerce > HF5601 Accounting
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Essex Business School > Essex Accounting Centre
Depositing User: Jim Jamieson
Date Deposited: 08 Jun 2020 11:56
Last Modified: 08 Jun 2020 11:56

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item