Strategic Diversity

Kevin Lewis

February 17, 2010

Do employers discriminate by gender? A field experiment in female-dominated occupations

Alison Booth & Andrew Leigh
Economics Letters, forthcoming

We test for gender discrimination by sending fake CVs to apply for entry-level jobs. Female candidates are more likely to receive a callback, with the difference being largest in occupations that are more female-dominated.


Not So Fast, My Friend: Social Capital and the Race Disparity in Promotions Among College Football Coaches

Jacob Day & Steve McDonald
Sociological Spectrum, March 2010, Pages 138-158

To better understand persistent racial inequality in occupational mobility, we examine the influence of race and social capital on the promotions of 320 assistant college football coaches. The results from quantitative analyses demonstrate that social capital matters a great deal for promotions, but its impact is contingent on the race of the respondent. Specifically, network connections to heterogeneous contacts (racially heterophilous ties, weak ties, and high-status ties) appear to be more effective for black coaches than for white coaches. The findings underscore the importance and complexity of the relationships between race, social capital, and occupational mobility.


The Differential Valuation of Women's Work: A New Look at the Gender Gap in Lawyers' Incomes

Ronit Dinovitzer, Nancy Reichman & Joyce Sterling
Social Forces, December 2009, Pages 819-864

This article seeks to identify the mechanisms underlying the gender wage gap among new lawyers. Relying on nationally representative data to examine the salaries of lawyers working fulltime in private practice, we find a gender gap of about 5 percent. Identifying four mechanisms - work profiles, opportunity paths and structures, credentials, and legal markets - we first estimate how much of the gap stems from the differential valuation of women's endowments; second, we estimate the effects of different endowments for men and women; and third we assess both these possibilities. The analyses indicate that none of these mechanisms can fully account for the gender gap. Experimental studies that indicate women's work is less valued and rewarded than men's suggest new directions for research on gendered compensation.


Working for Female Managers: Gender Hierarchy in the Workplace

Illoong Kwon & Eva Meyersson Milgrom
SUNY Working Paper, December 2009

We study workers' reactions to changes in the gender composition of top management during a merger or acquisition, finding that an increase in the number of female top managers within their occupation makes male workers more likely to quit, and female workers less likely to quit. These effects vary across occupations, depending on the female share, and male workers' aversion to female managers is strongest when the female share nears fifty percent. The effects also vary over time and with age, becoming smaller in more recent years and among younger males, but increase with education level. We find little evidence that these preferences are driven by pecuniary effects.

Dynamics of the Gender Gap for Young Professionals in the Financial and Corporate Sectors

Marianne Bertrand, Claudia Goldin & Lawrence Katz
American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, forthcoming

This paper assesses the relative importance of various explanations for the gender gap in career outcomes for highly-educated workers in the U.S. corporate and financial sectors. The careers of MBAs, who graduated between 1990 and 2006 from a top U.S. business school, are studied to understand how career dynamics differ by gender. Although male and female MBAs have nearly identical (labor) incomes at the outset of their careers, their earnings soon diverge, with the male annual earnings advantage reaching almost 60 log points at ten to 16 years after MBA completion. We identify three proximate reasons for the large and rising gender gap in earnings: differences in training prior to MBA graduation; differences in career interruptions; and differences in weekly hours. These three determinants can explain the bulk of gender differences in earnings across the years following MBA completion. The presence of children is the main contributor to the lesser job experience, greater career discontinuity and shorter work hours for female MBAs. Some MBA mothers, especially those with well-off spouses, slow down in the labor market within a few years following their first birth. Disparities in the productive characteristics of male and female MBAs are small, but the pecuniary penalties from shorter hours and any job discontinuity are enormous for MBAs.


Do Trustees and Administrators Matter? Diversifying the Faculty Across Gender Lines

Ronald Ehrenberg, George Jakubson, Mirinda Martin, Joyce Main & Thomas Eisenberg
NBER Working Paper, December 2009

Our paper focuses on the role that the gender composition of the leaders of American colleges and universities -trustees, presidents/chancellors, and provosts/academic vice presidents - plays in influencing the rate at which academic institutions diversify their faculty across gender lines. Our analyses make use of institutional level panel data that we have collected on for a large sample of American academic institutions. We find that, other factors held constant including our estimate of the "expected" share of new hires at an institution that should be female, that institutions with female presidents/chancellors and female provosts/academic vice presidents, and those with a greater share of female trustees, increase their shares of female faculty at a more rapid rate. The magnitudes of the effects of these leaders are larger at smaller institutions, where central administrators may play a larger role in faculty hiring decisions. A critical share of female trustees must be reached before the gender composition of the board matters.


Wimpy and Undeserving of Respect: Penalties for Men's Gender-Inconsistent Success

Madeline Heilman & Aaron Wallen
Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, forthcoming

Results of an experimental study varying the sex of the employee and the gender-type of the job demonstrated that men, as well as women, are penalized when they are successful in areas that imply that they have violated gender norms. But the nature of these penalties differed. When depicted as being successful at a female gender-typed job, men were characterized as more ineffectual and afforded less respect than women successful at the same job or than men successful in a gender-consistent position. Women, in contrast, were more interpersonally derogated and disliked when said to be successful at a male gender-typed job. Regardless of these differing characterizations, both men and women successful in gender-inconsistent jobs were reported to be less preferable as bosses than their more normatively consistent counterparts. These results suggest that success, when it violates gender norms, can be disadvantageous for both men and women, but in different ways.


Negotiating gender roles: Gender differences in assertive negotiating are mediated by women's fear of backlash and attenuated when negotiating on behalf of others

Emily Amanatullah & Michael Morris
Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, February 2010, Pages 256-267

The authors propose that gender differences in negotiations reflect women's contextually contingent impression management strategies. They argue that the same behavior, bargaining assertively, is construed as congruent with female gender roles in some contexts yet incongruent in other contexts. Further, women take this contextual variation into account, adjusting their bargaining behavior to manage social impressions. A particularly important contextual variable is advocacy-whether bargaining on one's own behalf versus on another's behalf. In self-advocacy contexts, women anticipate that assertiveness will evoke incongruity evaluations, negative attributions, and subsequent "backlash"; hence, women hedge their assertiveness, using fewer competing tactics and obtaining lower outcomes. However, in other-advocacy contexts, women achieve better outcomes as they do not expect incongruity evaluations or engage in hedging. In a controlled laboratory experiment, the authors found that gender interacts with advocacy context in this way to determine negotiation style and outcomes. Additionally, process measures of anticipated attributions and backlash statistically mediated this interaction effect.


Gender and Persistence in Negotiation: A Dyadic Perspective

Hannah Riley Bowles & Francis Flynn
Academy of Management Journal, forthcoming

We offer a dyadic perspective on gender and persistence in negotiation, focusing on the interactive effects of persister gender and naysayer gender. We theorize that the degree and manner of persistence are functions of the gender composition of the dyad. Our findings challenge sex-stereotypic perspectives, showing that women persist more with men than women but in a stereotypically low-status (more indirect than direct) manner. Women's adaptation of their persistence to the naysayer's gender appeared functional because increased persistence with male naysayers helped close the gender gap in performance and high-performing female negotiators adjusted their manner of persistence more than low-performing.


Can Mentoring Help Female Assistant Professors? Interim Results from a Randomized Trial

Francine Blau, Janet Currie, Rachel Croson & Donna Ginther
NBER Working Paper, January 2010

While much has been written about the potential benefits of mentoring in academia, very little research documents its effectiveness. We present data from a randomized controlled trial of a mentoring program for female economists organized by the Committee for the Status of Women in the Economics Profession and sponsored by the National Science Foundation and the American Economics Association. To our knowledge, this is the first randomized trial of a mentoring program in academia. We evaluate the performance of three cohorts of participants and randomly-assigned controls from 2004, 2006, and 2008. This paper presents an interim assessment of the program's effects. Our results suggest that mentoring works. After five years the 2004 treatment group averaged .4 more NSF or NIH grants and 3 additional publications, and were 25 percentage points more likely to have a top-tier publication. There are significant but smaller effects at three years post-treatment for the 2004 and 2006 cohorts combined. While it is too early to assess the ultimate effects of mentoring on the academic careers of program participants, the results suggest that this type of mentoring may be one way to help women advance in the Economics profession and, by extension, in other male-dominated academic fields.


Two Sides of the Same Coin: U.S. "Residual" Inequality and the Gender Gap

Marigee Bacolod & Bernardo Blum
Journal of Human Resources, Winter 2010, Pages 197-242

We show that the narrowing gender gap and the growth in earnings inequality are consistent with a simple model in which skills are heterogeneous, and the growth in skill prices has been particularly strong for skills with which women are well endowed. Empirical analysis of DOT, CPS, and NLSY79 data finds evidence to support this model. A large increase in the prices of cognitive and people skills - skills with which women are well endowed - and a decline in the price of motor skills account for up to 40 percent of the rising inequality and 20 percent of the narrowing gender gap.

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