Diversity in Accounting: Trends, Gaps, and Future Directions

Posted by Alessandro Ghio - Mar 28, 2024


In accounting, diversity has emerged as a key area of study, reflecting broader societal shifts towards inclusivity and equity. Our recent systematic literature review sheds light on the evolving landscape of diversity within the accounting literature, offering insights into prevailing trends, research gaps, and potential future directions.

Trends in Diversity Research

The review, spanning publications from 1979 to 2021, analyzed 428 studies, revealing a notable surge in diversity-focused research, particularly from 2017 to 2021, indicating a 171% increase compared to the preceding period of 2012 to 2016.

Gender, ethnicity, and race emerged as the most researched, with gender studies comprising the majority (62.4%) of the sample. Conversely, studies on disabilities and sexual orientation were noticeably scarce, comprising only 1.9% and 0.7% of the sample, respectively.

Geographical and Methodological Insights

Analysis of author demographics showcased a concentration of research in Western Anglo-Saxon countries, while quantitative methodologies slightly outnumbered qualitative approaches.

While no specific journal exhibited publishing dominance, three interdisciplinary accounting journals featured prominently:

  • Critical Perspectives on Accounting
  • Accounting Auditing and Accountability Journal, and Accounting
  • Organizations, and Society

Major Themes and Implications

Four overarching themes emerged from the reviewed literature:

  1. Diversity in the Accounting Profession
  2. Diversity in Corporate Governance
  3. Diversity in Audit and Accounting Processes
  4. Influence of Organizational Information Reporting on Diversity

These studies underscored the positive correlation between organizational diversity and performance, yet also highlighted persistent power imbalances. Moreover, a critical question arose regarding whether the increasing attention to diversity aligns with genuine efforts to promote equity and social justice.

Future Directions and Implications

The review indicated four key implications for future research:

  1. Expanding Topics and Strategic Consideration: While diversity research is on the rise, there is a call to broaden the scope of analysis and adopt a more comprehensive approach towards advancing social justice and equity.
  2. Intersectionality: Recognizing the complexity of various dimensions of diversity, future studies must embrace intersectionality to provide a better understanding of diversity.
  3. 3. Impact of Reporting on Diversity Practices: Further exploration into how organizational reporting on diversity influences actual diversity practices.
  4. Diverse Voices: Encouraging greater diversity in the discourse surrounding accounting and diversity is imperative, ensuring that multiple perspectives are represented and accounted for in the literature.


In conclusion, the systematic literature review offers a comprehensive overview of diversity within the accounting literature, highlighting both progress and persisting gaps. By highlighting current trends and articulating future research directions, this study serves as a catalyst for advancing inclusivity, equity, and social justice within accounting. As research continues to grapple with the complexity of diversity, fostering more diverse and inclusive scholarly discourses is paramount in driving meaningful change within the field of accounting.

Article available here:

Ghio, A., Occhipinti, Z., & Verona, R. (2024) The Consideration of Diversity in the Accounting Literature: A Systematic Literature Review, European Accounting Review, DOI: 10.1080/09638180.2024.2330089


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