Partner aspirations (i.e., an employee’s desire to make partner) benefit accounting firms by promoting succession planning and reducing unwanted employee turnover. Further, female partner aspirations are critical for firms striving to achieve gender equity at the partner level. Prior research has begun to examine partner aspirations (e.g., Jones and Iyer 2020); however, little is known about how partner and nonpartner attitudes and values differ regarding the benefits and sacrifices required of the partner track. We survey 224 public accounting professionals (101 partners and 123 nonpartners) to systematically compare partner and nonpartner attitudes and values. By identifying mismatches in perceptions between these two groups, our results direct firm leadership to specific issues most detrimental to partner aspirations. Our comparisons by gender provide further insight into specific issues that firms need to address to increase female partner aspirations.

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