There’s so Much Life Out There! Work-life Conflict, Women, and Accounting Graduate Programs

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Camilla Soueneta Nascimento Nganga orcid
Silvia Pereira de Castro Casa Nova orcid
Sandra Maria Cerqueira da Silva orcid
João Paulo Resende de Lima orcid


Objective: this article discusses women’s experiences during their doctoral education in accounting, focusing on the work-life conflict. Theoretical framework: we adopted feminist theories to discuss the imposed social role on women through the sexual division of labor and how this social role relates to the search for balance between personal and professional life. Method: we adopted constructionism as the epistemological strand and feminist post-structuralism as a theoretical perspective. We conducted in-depth interviews to construct the research corpus. We analyzed the evidence through template analysis and ordered codes according to the research characteristics and purpose. Results: due to the fact that the academic structure replicates the sexual division of labor found in society, imposed dichotomies were found as ‘abandonment or postponement’ of personal life to the detriment of academic life, mainly by issues related to motherhood and the high demands of graduate programs. Conclusions: as a result, we conclude that female doctoral students play several social roles traditionally attributed to women. Therefore, they relegate their personal lives, deciding to postpone marriage and maternity or entering doctoral studies. Thus, considering both the personal relationships built with peers and teachers and the academic institutional environment, the academy still needs to advance to contemplate the trajectory of women so that the difficult choices do not fall on them. The paper contributes to the literature by offering insights and reflections specific to the accounting Brazilian academia.


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Nganga, C. S. N., Casa Nova, S. P. de C., Silva, S. M. C. da, & Lima, J. P. R. de. (2022). There’s so Much Life Out There! Work-life Conflict, Women, and Accounting Graduate Programs. Journal of Contemporary Administration, 27(2), e210318.
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