The Female Representation Issue in Top Management Positions: A Qualitative Study of the Auditing Industry

Anne Kristine Rørdam & Sia Lambert Kjær

Student thesis: Master thesis


The aim of this research is to investigate the factors shaping women’s decisions to become state authorised auditors in Denmark. The purpose is to investigate why there are a limited number of women compared to men in the top management positions in the auditing industry, despite a greater focus on general gender equality in Denmark. The research is based on qualitative data derived from interviews with female auditors from some of the big auditing companies in Denmark, to understand their perspectives on being women in the auditing industry and their consideration and reflections about becoming state authorised auditors. The main factors that were found that have an impact on women’s decision to become state authorised auditors are the formal structure of the auditing industry, the work environment, and the state authorised auditor programme, and a range of drivers and challenges in the industry when entering the programme and logistic matters. Based on the main findings and suggestions from the interviewees, possible solutions are outlined to the matter of acquiring and retaining more female state authorised auditors. Such solutions can be found by providing women with more detailed information on the job and what it entails, as well as hiring a range of diversified employees. Enhancing the image of the industry by increasing the amount of female role models is another solution suggested by this paper.

EducationsMSc in Auditing, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2021
Number of pages109
SupervisorsThomas Riise Johansen