His and her

Kevin Lewis

September 21, 2017

What "blindness" to gender differences helps women see and do: Implications for confidence, agency, and action in male-dominated environments
Ashley Martin & Katherine Phillips
Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, September 2017, Pages 28-44


The ways in which we discuss gender (embracing vs. downplaying difference) has implications for women's workplace confidence and behavior, especially in male-dominated environments and positions of power. In five total studies (N = 1453), across a variety of samples, we found that gender-blindness - the belief that gender differences should be downplayed - is a more adaptive strategy for increasing female workplace confidence than gender-awareness - the belief that gender differences should be celebrated. In addition to increasing confidence, gender-blindness was related to actions necessary for reducing gender disparities (e.g., risk-taking, negotiation). We found that perceived gender differences in agency (i.e., assertiveness, independence) accounts for gender differences in workplace confidence, especially in male-dominated environments (e.g., business school) and positions of power (managerial positions). Finally, we found that gender-blindness either lessened or had no effect on men's confidence, demonstrating the unique positive effect of gender-blindness on women's confidence. Together, this research highlights the potential for downplaying differences, instead of emphasizing them, to combat the confidence gap.

Social Animal House: The Economic and Academic Consequences of Fraternity Membership
Jack Mara, Lewis Davis & Stephen Schmidt
Contemporary Economic Policy, forthcoming


We exploit changes in the residential and social environment on campus to identify the economic and academic consequences of fraternity membership at a small Northeastern college. Our estimates suggest that these consequences are large, with fraternity membership lowering student grade point average by approximately 0.25 points on the traditional 4-point scale, but raising future income by approximately 36%, for those students whose decision about membership is affected by changes in the environment. These results suggest that fraternity membership causally produces large gains in social capital, which more than outweigh its negative effects on human capital for potential members. Alcohol-related behavior does not explain much of the effects of fraternity membership on either the human capital or social capital effects. These findings suggest that college administrators face significant trade-offs when crafting policies related to Greek life on campus.

High School Choices and the Gender Gap in STEM
David Card & Abigail Payne
NBER Working Paper, September 2017


Women who graduate from university are less likely than men to specialize in science, technology, engineering, or math (STEM). We use detailed administrative data for a recent cohort of high school students in Ontario, Canada, combined with data from the province's university admission system to analyze the dynamic process leading to this gap. We show that entry to STEM programs is mediated through an index of STEM readiness based on end-of-high-school courses in math and science. Most of the gender gap in STEM entry can be traced to differences in the rate of STEM readiness; less than a fifth is due to differences in the choice of major conditional on readiness. We then use high school course data to decompose the gap in STEM readiness among university entrants into two channels: one reflecting the gender gap in the fraction of high school students with the necessary prerequisites to enter STEM, and a second arising from differences in the fractions of females and males who enter university. The gender gap in the fraction of students with STEM prerequisites is small. The main factor is the lower university entry rate by men - a difference that is due to the lower fraction of non-science oriented males who complete enough advanced level courses to qualify for university entry. We conclude that differences in course-taking patterns and preferences for STEM conditional on readiness contribute to male-female differences in the rate of entering STEM, but that the main source of the gap is the lower overall rate of university attendance by men.

The social consequences of voice: An examination of voice type and gender on status and subsequent leader emergence
Elizabeth McClean et al.
Academy of Management Journal, forthcoming


This paper explores the impact of two types of voice and gender on peer-rated social status and subsequent leader emergence. Across two studies - a three-wave field study and an experiment - we find that speaking up promotively, but not prohibitively, is positively and indirectly related to leader emergence via status, and that this relationship is conditional on the gender of the speaker. Specifically, men who spoke up promotively benefited the most in terms of status and leader emergence, not only compared to men who spoke up prohibitively, but also compared to women who spoke up promotively. This research extends our understanding of the outcomes of voice by articulating how it impacts one's place in his or her group's social structure and ultimately whether he or she is seen as a leader. We also add to our understanding of leader emergence by suggesting that talking a lot or participating at a high level in a group may not be enough to emerge as a leader - it also depends how you do it and who you are.

Gender and Connections among Wall Street Analysts
Lily Hua Fang & Sterling Huang
Review of Financial Studies, September 2017, Pages 3305-3335


We examine how alumni ties with corporate boards differentially affect male and female analysts' job performance and career outcomes. Connections improve analysts' forecasting accuracy and recommendation impact, but the effect is two to three times as large for men as for women. Connections also contribute to analysts' likelihood of being voted by institutional investors as "star" analysts, but act as a partial substitute to performance for men, while a complement to performance for women. Our evidence indicates that men benefit more than women from connections in both job performance and the subjective evaluation by others.

Are CEOs Different? Characteristics of Top Managers
Steven Kaplan & Morten Sorensen
NBER Working Paper, September 2017


We use a dataset of over 2,600 executive assessments to study thirty individual characteristics of candidates for top executive positions - CEO, CFO, COO and others. We classify the thirty candidate characteristics with four primary factors: general ability, execution vs. interpersonal, charisma vs. analytic, and strategic vs. managerial. CEO candidates tend to score higher on these factors; CFO candidates score lower. Conditional on being a candidate, executives with greater interpersonal skills are more likely to be hired, suggesting that such skills are important in the selection process. Scores on the four factors also predict future career progression. Non-CEO candidates who score higher on the four factors are subsequently more likely to become CEOs. The patterns are qualitatively similar for public, private equity and venture capital owned companies. We do not find economically large differences in the four factors for men and women. Women, however, are subsequently less likely to become CEOs, holding the four factors constant.

Do Women CEOs Face Greater Threat of Shareholder Activism Compared to Male CEOs? A Role Congruity Perspective
Vishal Gupta et al.
Journal of Applied Psychology, forthcoming


We examine the glass cliff proposition that female CEOs receive more scrutiny than male CEOs by investigating whether CEO gender is related to threats from activist investors in public firms. Activist investors are extra-organizational stakeholders who, when dissatisfied with some aspect of the way the firm is being managed, seek to change the strategy or operations of the firm. Although some have argued that women will be viewed more favorably than men in top leadership positions (so-called 'female leadership' advantage logic), we build on role congruity theory to hypothesize that female CEOs are significantly more likely than male CEOs to come under threat from activist investors. Results support our predictions, suggesting that female CEOs may face additional challenges not faced by male CEOs. Practical implications and directions for future research are discussed.

The Effect of Title IX on Gender Inequality in Graduate Education
Nayoung Rim
University of Chicago Working Paper, June 2017


During the 1960s, there were essentially three career choices for women: nurse, secretary, or teacher. Graduate school admissions quotas largely prevented women from pursuing different career paths. Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 removed this barrier by making gender discrimination in admissions illegal. This paper examines whether this policy was successful in reducing gender disparity in graduate education. I find a sharp and dramatic convergence of female versus male graduate degree fields coincident with the passage of Title IX. This distributional change occurred as females predominantly moved into male-dominated fields and does not seem to be driven by gender-specific preferences. Further, alternative explanations, including birth control pill access and abortion legalization, were gradual changes and cannot explain the large, national shift in graduate-field distribution that occurred immediately following Title IX. In addition to providing evidence of successful anti-discrimination legislation, this paper sheds new light on the factors responsible for the college gender gap reversal.

The Influences of Media, Power, and Male Communication on Concession Making by Females during Negotiations
Norman Johnson, Randolph Cooper & Richard Holowczak
Decision Sciences, forthcoming


Research indicates that females' economic negotiated outcomes are generally worse than those of males. However, this research has also noted several circumstances when females' economic outcomes are at least as good as those of males. In the present study, we explore this equivocal pattern of outcomes with a focus on concessions that females make as they negotiate with males over two media, audio and instant messaging (IM). We proposed and tested a model to explain these concessions and how they are influenced by elements of the negotiation context, including the medium, resource power, and the degree that positive affect is communicated by males to females. Our predictions are based on role congruity theory. We predicted and found that females tend to have poorer economic negotiated outcomes due to greater concession making when they use an audio rather than IM media and when they have more resource power. In addition, we found that females tend to fare poorer economically with the combination of having more resource power and negotiating using audio, than would be expected based on the simple sum of the effects of resource power and using audio. Finally, we found that when females have resource power and positive affect is communicated by their male partners, females tend to fare better economically. These findings suggest choices that both females and males can make so as to enhance their economic outcomes. For example, when they can choose the negotiation medium, females should choose to negotiate over IM rather than audio, while males should choose audio rather than IM.

Self-employment among women: Do children matter more than we previously thought?
Anastasia Semykina
Journal of Applied Econometrics, forthcoming


This paper presents an estimation approach that addresses the problems of sample selection and endogeneity of fertility decisions when estimating the effect of young children on women's self-employment. Using data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979, 1982-2006, we find that ignoring self-selection and endogeneity leads to underestimating the effect of young children. Once both sources of biases are accounted for, the estimated effect of young children roughly triples when compared to uncorrected results. This finding is robust to several changes in the specification and to the use of a different dataset.

Blurring the Boundaries: The Interplay of Gender and Local Communities in the Commercialization of Social Ventures
Stefan Dimitriadis et al.
Organization Science, forthcoming


This paper examines the critical role of gender in the commercialization of social ventures. We argue that cultural beliefs about what is perceived to be appropriate work for each gender influence how founders of social ventures incorporate commercial activity into their ventures. Specifically, we argue and show that although cultural beliefs that disassociate women from commercial activity may result in female social venture founders being less likely to use commercial activity than their male counterparts, these effects are moderated by cultural beliefs about gender and commercial activity within founders' local communities. The presence of female business owners in the same community mitigates the role of founders' gender on the use of commercial activity. We examine these issues through a novel sample of 584 social ventures in the United States. We constructively replicate and extend these findings with a supplemental analysis of a second sample, the full population of new nonprofit organizations founded during a two-year period in the United States (n = 31,160). By highlighting how gendered aspects of both the social and commercial sectors interact to shape the use of commercial activity by social venture founders, our findings contribute to research on hybrid organizations in the social sector, communities as a context for the enactment of gender, and the enactment of gender in entrepreneurship.

Do college admissions counselors discriminate? Evidence from a correspondence-based field experiment
Andrew Hanson
Economics of Education Review, October 2017, Pages 86-96


I design and implement a correspondence based field experiment to test for race and gender discrimination among college admissions counselors in the student information gathering stage. The experiment uses names to identify student race and gender, and student grade, SAT score, and writing differences to reflect varying levels of applicant quality. I find that counselors do not respond differently by race in most cases, but there are measurable differences in response/non-response and in the type of correspondence sent that favor female students. I also find that the quality of the student induces large differences in the type of response.

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