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Do Women Top Managers Help Women Advance? A Panel Study Using EEO-1 Records

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  • Kurtulus, Fidan Ana

    ()
    (University of Massachusetts Amherst)

  • Tomaskovic-Devey, Donald

    (North Carolina State University)

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    Abstract

    The goal of this study is to examine whether women in the highest levels of firms' management ranks help reduce barriers to women's advancement in the workplace. Using a panel of over 20,000 private-sector firms across all industries and states during 1990-2003 from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, we explore the influence of women in top management on subsequent female representation in lower-level managerial positions in U.S. firms. Our key findings show that an increase in the share of female top managers is associated with subsequent increases in the share of women in mid-level management positions within firms, and this result is robust to controlling for firm size, workforce composition, federal contractor status, firm fixed effects, year fixed effects and industry-specific trends. Moreover, although the influence of women in top management positions is strongest among white women, black, Hispanic and Asian women in top management also have a positive influence on subsequent increases in black, Hispanic and Asian women in mid-level management, respectively. Furthermore, the influence of women in top management positions is stronger among federal contractors, and in firms with larger female labor forces. We also find that the positive influence of women in top leadership positions on managerial gender diversity diminishes over time, suggesting that women at the top play a positive but transitory role in women's career advancement.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 6444.

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    Length: 41 pages
    Date of creation: Mar 2012
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6444

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    Related research

    Keywords: women managers; gender diversity; race diversity; discrimination; mentoring; promotions; hiring; retention;

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    References

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    1. Barbara F. Reskin & Denise D. Bielby, 2005. "A Sociological Perspective on Gender and Career Outcomes," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 19(1), pages 71-86, Winter.
    2. Donna S. Rothstein, 2001. "Supervisory status and upper-level supervisory responsibilities: Evidence from the NLSY79," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 54(3), pages 663-680, April.
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    4. Jonathan S. Leonard, 1983. "Anti-Discrimination or Reverse Discrimination: The Impact of Changing Demographics, Title VII and Affirmative Action on Productivity," NBER Working Papers 1240, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    6. Giuliano, Laura & Levine, David I. & Leonard, Jonathan, 2006. "Do Race, Age, and Gender Differences Affect Manager-Employee Relations? An Analysis of Quits, Dismissals, and Promotions at a Large Retail Firm," Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, Working Paper Series, Institute of Industrial Relations, UC Berkeley qt9tc8n5j7, Institute of Industrial Relations, UC Berkeley.
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    8. 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.
    9. Laura Giuliano & David I. Levine & Jonathon Leonard, 2006. "An Analysis of Quits, Dismissals, and Promotions at a Large Retail Firm," Working Papers, University of Miami, Department of Economics 0721, University of Miami, Department of Economics.
    10. Leonard, Jonathan S, 1984. "Employment and Occupational Advance under Affirmative Action," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 66(3), pages 377-85, August.
    11. Paul R. Milgrom, 1984. "Job Discrimination, Market Forces and the Invisibility Hypothesis," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University 708R, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University, revised 1985.
    12. Jonathan S. Leonard, 1985. "The Effectiveness of Equal Employment Law and Affirmative Action Regulation," NBER Working Papers 1745, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Jed DeVaro & Michael Waldman, 2012. "The Signaling Role of Promotions: Further Theory and Empirical Evidence," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 30(1), pages 91 - 147.
    14. James J. Heckman & Kenneth I. Wolpin, 1976. "Does the contract compliance program work? An analysis of Chicago data," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 29(4), pages 544-564, July.
    15. Christopher Avery & Susan Athey & Peter Zemsky, 2000. "Mentoring and Diversity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 765-786, September.
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