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

  • Smith, Nina

    ()

    (Aarhus University)

  • Smith, Valdemar

    ()

    (Aarhus School of Business)

  • Verner, Mette

    ()

    (Danish School of Media and Journalism)

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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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:
Publication status: published in: Industrial and Labor Relations Review, 2013, 66 (2), 380-408
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5961
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  1. 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.
  2. Muriel Niederle & Lise Vesterlund, 2007. "Do Women Shy Away from Competition? Do Men Compete Too Much?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 122(3), pages 1067-1101, 08.
  3. 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.
  4. Albrecht, James & Björklund, Anders & Vroman, Susan, 2001. "Is There a Glass Ceiling in Sweden?," IZA Discussion Papers 282, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. 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.
  6. Lundberg, Shelly, 2005. "Men and islands: Dealing with the family in empirical labor economics," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(4), pages 591-612, August.
  7. McCue, Kristin, 1996. "Promotions and Wage Growth," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 14(2), pages 175-209, April.
  8. James W. Albrecht & Per-Anders Edin & Marianne Sundström & Susan B. Vroman, 1999. "Career Interruptions and Subsequent Earnings: A Reexamination Using Swedish Data," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 34(2), pages 294-311.
  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. 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.
  11. Booth, Alison L & Nolen, Patrick, 2009. "Gender Differences in Risk Behaviour: Does Nurture Matter?," CEPR Discussion Papers 7198, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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).
  16. 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.
  17. Simon Fietze & Elke Holst & Verena Tobsch, 2009. "Personality and Career: She's Got What It Takes," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 250, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  18. Phelps, Edmund S, 1972. "The Statistical Theory of Racism and Sexism," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(4), pages 659-61, September.
  19. Roland G. Fryer, Jr., 2006. "Belief Flipping in a Dynamic Model of Statistical Discrimination," NBER Working Papers 12174, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Amalia Miller, 2011. "The effects of motherhood timing on career path," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 24(3), pages 1071-1100, July.
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