Gender equality is recognized as crucial for firms’ growth. This paper attempts to investigate how and why do certain sociocultural and structural factors influence sustained gender inequality in Fiji? And then, using Grounded Theory (GT) method, it attempts to conceptualise how are Fijian working mothers striving to promote equality and diversity in the workplace, society, and family-life? By employing Grounded theory (GT) method, semi-structured interviews (32) were used to collect data from high-ranked officers in private and public sectors and, the interview transcripts were analysed using GT techniques: iterative and recursive processes of coding, categorising, theoretical sampling and constant comparison. The core category, “enterprising mothers need comprehensive support for equal status,” emerged from Fijian executive mothers’ efforts in: (1) securing a fair share for females in senior-management positions with the support of legal backing; (2) discouraging women’s reticent attitudes towards sociocultural suppressions of gender equality; (3) challenging certain discriminatory structural factors and self-effacing allegations; and (4) balancing work-life and endeavouring career advancements. This study attempts, for the first time, to theorise these Fijian working mothers’ efforts to conquer gender inequality and to expose how the Fijian sociocultural and structural system influences sustained gender inequality.


Fiji, gender inequality, grounded theory, motherhood, sociocultural and structural factors, work–life balance

Author Bio(s)

Candauda Arachchige Saliya (ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9239-1648) is a Professor in Banking and Finance, SLIIT University, Malabe, Sri Lanka and a PhD holder in Accounting and Finance from AUT New Zealand. Dr. Saliya is a KPMG-trained Accountant, a member of several professional bodies including CPA Australia, FCA, CMA, and Association of Professional Bankers. Dr. Saliya possesses a wide range of experience as an accounting, auditing, finance, and banking professional as well as an academic in many countries since 1984. Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Dr. C. A. Saliya, SLIIT Business School, SLIIT University, Malabe, Sri Lanka. Email: saliya.a@sliit.lk.


The author would like to thank all the survey participants and reviewers. This research was not funded. Research questionnaire and the data collection methods were approved by the faculty research ethics committee. I have no known conflict of interest to disclose.

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