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The Gender Equity Gap in Top Corporate Executive Positions

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  • Joanne Healy Burress
  • Linda J. Zucca
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    Abstract

    Although Corporate America has expended great efforts to shrink the gender equity gap at all levels, there is persistent evidence in the financial press that the gap still exists. This study focuses on the gender equity gap in the most highly compensated positions within corporations. Using Standard & PoorÕs Compustat ExecuComp database for 1992-1997, we find that only 3 percent of the most highly compensated executives are female, that these positions are held disproportionately by men, and that female executives are more likely to be clustered in particular industry groups. In a sample matched by job title, company size and industry, male executives earn significantly higher salaries and bonuses, though total compensation is not significantly different. However, these compensation differences may be explained by differences in human capital characteristics such as age and tenure within a particular job title. Thus, the gender equity gap at top executive positions may be due more to a lack of opportunity than to wage discrimination.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Emerald Group Publishing in its journal American Journal of Business.

    Volume (Year): 19 (2004)
    Issue (Month): 1 ()
    Pages: 55-62

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    Handle: RePEc:eme:ajbpps:v:19:y:2004:i:1:p:55-62

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    Related research

    Keywords: Compustat ExecuComp database; Gender equity gap; Top executive positions;

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    1. Wood, Robert G & Corcoran, Mary E & Courant, Paul N, 1993. "Pay Differences among the Highly Paid: The Male-Female Earnings Gap in Lawyers' Salaries," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 11(3), pages 417-41, July.
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    Cited by:
    1. Lam, Kevin C.K. & McGuinness, Paul B. & Vieito, João Paulo, 2013. "CEO gender, executive compensation and firm performance in Chinese‐listed enterprises," Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 1136-1159.
    2. João Vieito & Walayet Khan, 2012. "Executive compensation and gender: S&P 1500 listed firms," Journal of Economics and Finance, Springer, vol. 36(2), pages 371-399, April.
    3. Hu, Ting & Yun, Myeong-Su, 2008. "Is the Glass Ceiling Cracking? A Simple Test," IZA Discussion Papers 3518, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. Khan, Walayet A. & Vieito, João Paulo, 2013. "Ceo gender and firm performance," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 55-66.

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