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Do Women Top Managers Help Women Advance? A Panel Study Using EEO-1 Records

  • Fidan Ana Kurtulus

    ()

    (University of Massachusetts Amherst)

  • Donald Tomaskovic-Devey

    ()

    (University of Massachusetts Amherst)

The goal of this study is to examine whether women in the highest levels of management ranks of firms help reduce barriers to advancement in the workplace faced by women. Using a panel of over 20,000 private-sector firms across all industries and states during 1990-2003 from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, we explore the influence of women in top management on subsequent female representation in lower-level managerial positions in U.S. firms. Our key findings show that an increase in the share of female top managers is associated with subsequent increases in the share of women in mid-level management positions within firms, and this result is robust to controlling for firm size, workforce composition, federal contractor status, firm fixed effects, year fixed effects and industry-specific trends. The influence of women in top management positions is stronger among federal contractors, in firms with larger female labor forces, and for white women. We also find that the positive influence of women in top leadership positions on managerial gender diversity diminishes over time, suggesting that women at the top play a positive but transitory role in women’s career advancement. JEL Categories: J16, J21, J24, J44, J62, J71, J78, J82, M51

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Paper provided by University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Economics in its series UMASS Amherst Economics Working Papers with number 2011-14.

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Date of creation: Jun 2011
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Handle: RePEc:ums:papers:2011-14
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  1. Jed DeVaro & Michael Waldman, 2012. "The Signaling Role of Promotions: Further Theory and Empirical Evidence," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 30(1), pages 91 - 147.
  2. Susan Athey & Christopher Avery & Peter Zemsky, 1998. "Mentoring and Diversity," NBER Working Papers 6496, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Jonathan S. Leonard, 1983. "Anti-Discrimination or Reverse Discrimination: The Impact of Changing Demographics, Title VII and Affirmative Action on Productivity," NBER Working Papers 1240, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Giuliano, Laura & Levine, David I. & Leonard, Jonathan, 2006. "Do Race, Age, and Gender Differences Affect Manager-Employee Relations? An Analysis of Quits, Dismissals, and Promotions at a Large Retail Firm," Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, Working Paper Series qt9tc8n5j7, Institute of Industrial Relations, UC Berkeley.
  5. Leonard, Jonathan S, 1984. "Employment and Occupational Advance under Affirmative Action," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 66(3), pages 377-85, August.
  6. Donna S. Rothstein, 2001. "Supervisory Status and Upper-Level Supervisory Responsibilities: Evidence from the NLSY79," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 54(3), pages 663-680, April.
  7. Donna S. Rothstein, 2001. "Supervisory status and upper-level supervisory responsibilities: Evidence from the NLSY79," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 54(3), pages 663-680, April.
  8. Laura Giuliano & David I. Levine & Jonathon Leonard, 2006. "An Analysis of Quits, Dismissals, and Promotions at a Large Retail Firm," Working Papers 0721, University of Miami, Department of Economics.
  9. Jonathan S. Leonard, 1985. "The Effectiveness of Equal Employment Law and Affirmative Action Regulation," NBER Working Papers 1745, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Dennis J. Aigner & Glen G. Cain, 1977. "Statistical theories of discrimination in labor markets," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 30(2), pages 175-187, January.
  11. James J. Heckman & Kenneth I. Wolpin, 1976. "Does the contract compliance program work? An analysis of Chicago data," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 29(4), pages 544-564, July.
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