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Are There Glass Ceilings for Female Executives?

Less than 10 percent of executives in large publicly traded firms are women. On average female executives earn less than male executives, and hold less senior positions. They retire earlier. This paper is an empirical study of these differences based on panel of about 2,500 firms and 16,000 executives tracked through 60 job titles over a 14 year period. We construct a simple career hierarchy to analyze promotion rates and compensation for males and females, controlling for firm and industry characteristics, as well as the executive's socioeconomic, demographic and background experience. At any given level in the career hierarchy, women are paid slightly more than men with the same background, have slightly less income uncertainty and are promoted as quickly. We conclude that the gender pay gap and differences in job rank in this most lucrative occupation is explained by females leaving the market at higher rates than males.

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Paper provided by Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business in its series GSIA Working Papers with number 2009-E8.

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Handle: RePEc:cmu:gsiawp:1733050961
Contact details of provider: Postal: Tepper School of Business, Carnegie Mellon University, 5000 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890
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  18. Kathy J. Hayes & Donna K. Ginther, 1999. "Gender Differences in Salary and Promotion in the Humanities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 397-402, May.
  19. Dan A. Black & Amelia M. Haviland & Seth G. Sanders & Lowell J. Taylor, 2008. "Gender Wage Disparities among the Highly Educated," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 43(3), pages 630-659.
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