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Why Are So Few Females Promoted into CEO and Vice-President Positions? Danish Empirical Evidence 1997-2007

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Author Info

  • Smith, Nina

    ()
    (Aarhus University)

  • Smith, Valdemar

    ()
    (Aarhus School of Business)

  • Verner, Mette

    ()
    (Danish School of Media and Journalism)

Abstract

In most OECD countries, only very few women succeed in reaching top executive positions. In this paper, the probability of promotion into VP and CEO positions is estimated based on employer-employee data on all Danish companies observed during the period 1997-2007. After controlling for a large number of family-related variables, including take-up history of maternity and paternity leave and proxies for 'female-friendly' companies, there is still a considerable gap in the promotion probabilities for CEO positions, but not for VP positions. Thus, the results cannot confirm recent theories on 'belief flipping' or disappearance of statistical discrimination against women who succeed getting into career track positions. The results reflect that the hiring decision and the decision to enter a top position as 'number one', i.e. CEO, in the organization is very different from the decision to hire or become VP, i.e. 'number two' or lower.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 5961.

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Length: 48 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5961

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Keywords: statistical discrimination; top executive positions; promotion;

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  1. Francine D. Blau & Jed DeVaro, 2006. "New Evidence on Gender Difference in Promotion Rates: An Empirical Analysis of a Sample of New Hires," NBER Working Papers 12321, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. James Albrecht & Anders Bjorklund & Susan Vroman, 2003. "Is There a Glass Ceiling in Sweden?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(1), pages 145-177, January.
  3. Booth, Alison L. & Nolen, Patrick J., 2009. "Gender Differences in Risk Behaviour: Does Nurture Matter?," IZA Discussion Papers 4026, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Simon Fietze & Elke Holst & Verena Tobsch, 2009. "Personality and Career: She's Got What It Takes," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 955, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  5. Booth, Alison L. & Francesconi, Marco & Frank, Jeff, 2003. "A sticky floors model of promotion, pay, and gender," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 295-322, April.
  6. Albrecht, J & Edin, P-A & Sundstrom, M & Vroman, S-B, 1996. "Career Interruptions and Subsequent Earning : A Reexamination Using Swedish Data," Papers 1996-23, Uppsala - Working Paper Series.
  7. Phelps, Edmund S, 1972. "The Statistical Theory of Racism and Sexism," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(4), pages 659-61, September.
  8. Nina Smith & Valdemar Smith & Mette Verne, 2011. "The gender pay gap in top corporate jobs in Denmark: Glass ceilings, sticky floors or both?," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 32(2), pages 156-177, May.
  9. David A. Matsa & Amalia R. Miller, 2011. "Chipping Away at the Glass Ceiling: Gender Spillovers in Corporate Leadership," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(3), pages 635-39, May.
  10. David Bjerk, 2008. "Glass Ceilings or Sticky Floors? Statistical Discrimination in a Dynamic Model of Hiring and Promotion," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(530), pages 961-982, 07.
  11. Muriel Niederle & Lise Vesterlund, 2005. "Do Women Shy Away from Competition? Do Men Compete too Much?," Discussion Papers 04-030, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
  12. Lundberg, Shelly, 2005. "Men and islands: Dealing with the family in empirical labor economics," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(4), pages 591-612, August.
  13. Nabanita Datta Gupta & Ronald L. Oaxaca & Nina Smith, 2006. "Swimming upstream, floating downstream: Comparing women's relative wage progress in the United States and Denmark," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 59(2), pages 243-266, January.
  14. Roland G. Fryer, Jr., 2006. "Belief Flipping in a Dynamic Model of Statistical Discrimination," NBER Working Papers 12174, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Cobb-Clark, D., 1998. "Getting Ahead: the Determinants of and Payoffs to Internal Promotion for Young Men and Women," CEPR Discussion Papers 395, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
  16. Frederiksen, Anders & Kato, Takao, 2011. "Human Capital and Career Success: Evidence from Linked Employer-Employee Data," IZA Discussion Papers 5764, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  17. Amalia Miller, 2011. "The effects of motherhood timing on career path," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 24(3), pages 1071-1100, July.
  18. McCue, Kristin, 1996. "Promotions and Wage Growth," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 14(2), pages 175-209, April.
  19. Lazear, Edward P & Rosen, Sherwin, 1981. "Rank-Order Tournaments as Optimum Labor Contracts," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(5), pages 841-64, October.
  20. Goldin, Claudia D. & Bertrand, Marianne & Katz, Lawrence F., 2010. "Dynamics of the Gender Gap for Young Professionals in the Financial and Corporate Sectors," Scholarly Articles 8810041, Harvard University Department of Economics.
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Cited by:
  1. Parrotta, Pierpaolo & Smith, Nina, 2013. "Female-Led Firms: Performance and Risk Attitudes," IZA Discussion Papers 7613, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Joensen, Juanna Schrøter & Nielsen, Helena Skyt, 2013. "Math and Gender: Is Math a Route to a High-Powered Career?," IZA Discussion Papers 7164, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Juanna Joensen, 2012. "Math and Gender: What if Girls Do Math?," 2012 Meeting Papers 992, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  4. Parrotta, Pierpaolo & Smith, Nina, 2013. "Why So Few Women on Boards of Directors? Empirical Evidence from Danish Companies 1997-2007," IZA Discussion Papers 7678, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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