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Women Helping Women? Evidence from Private Sector Data on Workplace Hierarchies

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  • Astrid Kunze
  • Amalia R. Miller

Abstract

This paper studies gender spillovers in career advancement using 11 years of employer-employee matched data on the population of white-collar workers at over 4,000 private-sector establishments in Norway. Our data include unusually detailed job information for each worker, which enables us to define seven hierarchical ranks that are consistent across establishments and over time in order to measure promotions (defined as year-to-year rank increases) even for individuals who change employers. We first find that women have significantly lower promotion rates than men across all ranks of the corporate hierarchy, even after controlling for a range of individual characteristics (age, education, tenure, experience) and including fixed effects for current rank, year, industry, and even work establishment. In measuring the effects of female coworkers, we find positive gender spillovers across ranks (flowing from higher-ranking to lower-ranking women) but negative spillovers within ranks. The finding that greater female representation at higher ranks narrows the gender gap in promotion rates at lower ranks suggests that policies that increase female representation in corporate leadership can have spillover benefits to women in lowers ranks.

Suggested Citation

  • Astrid Kunze & Amalia R. Miller, 2014. "Women Helping Women? Evidence from Private Sector Data on Workplace Hierarchies," NBER Working Papers 20761, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:20761
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Mario Macis, 2017. "Gender differences in wages and leadership," IZA World of Labor, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA), pages 323-323, January.
    2. Manuel Bagues & Mauro Sylos-Labini & Natalia Zinovyeva, 2017. "Does the Gender Composition of Scientific Committees Matter?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 107(4), pages 1207-1238, April.
    3. 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 for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. Biewen, Martin & Seifert, Stefanie, 2016. "Potential Parenthood and Career Progression of Men and Women: A Simultaneous Hazards Approach," IZA Discussion Papers 10050, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. Vera Rocha & Mirjam van Praag, 2016. "How do Entrepreneurial Bosses influence their Employees' Future Entrepreneurship Choices?," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 16-110/VII, Tinbergen Institute.
    6. Lucifora, Claudio & Vigani, Daria, 2016. "What If Your Boss Is a Woman? Work Organization, Work-Life Balance and Gender Discrimination at the Workplace," IZA Discussion Papers 9737, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    7. Norma Schmitt, 2015. "Zum Potential einer festen Geschlechterquote," DIW Wochenbericht, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 82(40), pages 887-897.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J62 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Job, Occupational and Intergenerational Mobility; Promotion
    • J7 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination
    • K31 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law - - - Labor Law
    • M14 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - Corporate Culture; Diversity; Social Responsibility
    • M51 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Firm Employment Decisions; Promotions

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