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The gender promotion gap: evidence from central banking

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  • Hospido, Laura
  • Laeven, Luc
  • Lamo, Ana

Abstract

We examine gender differences in career progression and promotions in central banking, a stereotypical male-dominated occupation, using confidential anonymized personnel data from the European Central Bank (ECB) during the period 2003-2017. A wage gap emerges between men and women within a few years of hiring, despite broadly similar entry conditions in terms of salary levels and other observables. We also find that women are less likely to be promoted to a higher salary band up until 2010 when the ECB issued a public statement supporting diversity and took several measures to support gender balance. Following this change, the promotion gap disappears. The gender promotion gap prior to this policy change is partly driven by the presence of children. Using 2012-2017 data on promotion applications and decisions, we explore the promotion process in depth, and confirm that during this most recent period women are as likely to be promoted as men. This results from a lower probability of women to apply for promotion, combined with a higher probability of women to be selected conditional on having applied. Following promotion, women perform better in terms of salary progression, suggesting that the higher probability to be selected is based on merit, not positive discrimination. JEL Classification: J16, J31, J41, J63

Suggested Citation

  • Hospido, Laura & Laeven, Luc & Lamo, Ana, 2019. "The gender promotion gap: evidence from central banking," Working Paper Series 2265, European Central Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20192265
    Note: 261593
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    Cited by:

    1. Amanda Goodall & Margit Osterloh & Mandy Fong, 2020. "Women Shy Away From Competition – How To Overcome It," CREMA Working Paper Series 2020-21, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
    2. Ghazala Azmat & Vicente Cunãt & Emeric Henry, 2020. "Gender Promotion Gaps: Career Aspirations and Workplace Discrimination," Sciences Po Economics Discussion Papers 2019-17, Sciences Po Departement of Economics.
    3. Farré, Lídia & Ortega, Francesc, 2021. "Family Ties, Geographic Mobility and the Gender Gap in Academic Aspirations," IZA Discussion Papers 14561, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    4. Nano, Enrico & Panizza, Ugo & Viarengo, Martina, 2021. "A Generation of Italian Economists," CEPR Discussion Papers 16135, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. Ivan Privalko, 2021. "Gender differences in Russia's job mobility and its rewards," Economics of Transition and Institutional Change, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 29(3), pages 405-429, July.
    6. Luz A. Florez & Ligia Alba Melo-Becerra & Carlos Esteban Posada, 2021. "Estimating the reservation wage across city groups in Colombia: A stochastic frontier approach," Borradores de Economia 1163, Banco de la Republica de Colombia.
    7. Lamo, Ana & Laeven, Luc, 2019. "The gender promotion gap: what holds back female economists from making a career in central banking?," Research Bulletin, European Central Bank, vol. 63.
    8. Farré, Lídia & Ortega, Francesc, 2019. "Selecting Talent: Gender Differences in Participation and Success in Competitive Selection Processes," IZA Discussion Papers 12530, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    central banking; gender gaps; promotions; working histories;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J41 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Labor Contracts
    • J63 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Turnover; Vacancies; Layoffs

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