The Relationship of Advocacy and Mentorship with Female Accountants' Career Success

Published In

Advances in Accounting

Document Type


Publication Date



Despite being the majority of new graduates for three decades, female accountants have not proportionately risen to the top of corporations or public accounting firms. Mentoring has been championed as an important variable in women's advancement, yet to date no research has examined how mentoring may be associated with improved career success measures such as organizational level and salary attained by female accountants. This study utilizes survey responses from almost 900 female accountants to assess the relationship between having a mentor and objective career outcomes, as well as beliefs about future promotions. We consider whether career success outcomes and beliefs about future promotions differ based upon mentor origin, mentor gender and mentor functions provided. Results indicate that having a mentor is associated with greater career advancement outcomes. Relationships that are characterized by stronger career development functions are associated with a higher perceived likelihood of promotion, and having a male mentor is associated with higher compensation and higher organizational level. Informal mentoring relationships are also associated with higher compensation and organizational level, supporting findings of previous research that suggests benefits of formal mentoring relationships are somewhat limited.


© 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.



Persistent Identifier