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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. Muriel Niederle & Lise Vesterlund, 2007. "Do Women Shy Away From Competition? Do Men Compete Too Much?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(3), pages 1067-1101.
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  12. Albrecht, James W. & Edin, Per-Anders & Sundström, Marianne & Vroman, Susan B., 1996. "Career Interruptions and Subsequent Earnings: A Reexamination Using Swedish Data," Working Paper Series 1996:23, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
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  18. 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.
  19. 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," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 59(2), pages 243-266, January.
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