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Women Have to Enter the Leadership Race to Win: Using Random Selection to Increase the Supply of Women into Senior Positions

Author

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  • Goodall, Amanda H.

    () (Cass Business School)

  • Osterloh, Margit

    () (University of Zurich)

Abstract

Despite well-intentioned efforts, the supply of women into senior management roles has changed little. Radical ideas are apparently needed. This paper is an attempt to suggest one. It is to use a form of random selection of candidates – drawn from a pre-selected and properly qualified pool – to increase the supply of women into management positions. The background rationale is that while most gender studies have focused on the demand side (direct and indirect discrimination), we think about how to improve the supply side, and in particular how to find ways to reduce negative self-stereotypes and stereotype threats. Evidence suggests, for example, that women shy away from competition, and are especially averse to rejection. We argue that a random-draw method would offer women a type of ‘rejection insurance’, lessen the ‘chosen one’ factor associated with leadership, prevent the desire for a ‘safe pair of hands’ (i.e. a man), and foster genuine equality.

Suggested Citation

  • Goodall, Amanda H. & Osterloh, Margit, 2015. "Women Have to Enter the Leadership Race to Win: Using Random Selection to Increase the Supply of Women into Senior Positions," IZA Discussion Papers 9331, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp9331
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    Cited by:

    1. Daniele Checchi & Silvia Poli & Enrico Rettore, 2018. "Does Random Selection of Selectors Improve the Quality of Selected Candidates? An Investigation in the Italian Academia," Italian Economic Journal: A Continuation of Rivista Italiana degli Economisti and Giornale degli Economisti, Springer;Società Italiana degli Economisti (Italian Economic Association), vol. 4(2), pages 211-247, July.
    2. Eszter Czibor & Silvia Dominguez Martinez, 2019. "Never too Late: Gender Quotas in the Final Round of a Multistage Tournament," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 35(2), pages 319-363.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    stereotype threat; leadership; women; diversity; random selection;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • L2 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior
    • M1 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration
    • M5 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics

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