The gender gap at the top: The role of networks

In spite of the development made towards gender equality, males and women still confront different labour current market situations at all degrees of work, not least at major administration positions. Even feminine administrators successful at breaking the glass ceiling are rewarded significantly less than their male peers. The economics literature has uncovered sufficient proof of gender bias. Geiler and Renneboog (2015) discover that feminine leading professionals in detailed British isles corporations make some 23% significantly less than their male counterparts, whilst Bell (2005) documents a bias in between 8% and 25% for feminine executives in US-listed firms, after managing for discrepancies in firm dimensions, occupational title, and market. Bertrand and Hallock (2001) expose a 45% hole in US firms, decreased to about 5% just after accounting for observable discrepancies, wherever gender segregation by organization dimension performs a crucial job.

Gender inequality arrives at an financial charge, as revealed in Lagarde and Ostry (2018) and Cavalcanti and Tavares (2007, 2015) from a macroeconomic standpoint and in Criscuolo et al. (2021) from a company efficiency viewpoint. Even more comprehension the pay gap amongst male and female administrators is thus essential to make considerable progress towards gender equality. It is also important to aid right legislation style mitigating the change as analysed in scientific tests this sort of as Djankov and Goldberg (2021) and Bagues and Esteve-Volart (2007). Following all, it is probable that the productiveness cost of gender discrimination is, if just about anything, larger as it pertains to managerial positions.

In a current research (Sazedj and Tavares 2021b), we advance the current literature on the gender pay out gap amid leading professionals by addressing a nevertheless undocumented supply of divergence: the big difference in specialist networks. Using a matched employer-employee dataset with mandatory facts on all personal companies and wage-earners running in Portugal concerning the several years 1986 and 2017, we monitor the whole skilled history of a worker and therefore compute a measure of networks dependent on all past professional interactions, within the same organization, particularly with co-personnel who afterwards turn out to be best supervisors. Whilst in Sazedj and Tavares (2021a), we display that networks in truth participate in a important part in the wage-environment approach of top rated executives, in Sazedj and Tavares (2021b), we deal with the associated and crucial problem of evaluating how these discrepancies in experienced networks add to the gender pay hole at the leading. 

Figure 1 demonstrates how, in 1995, the overall fork out of woman top managers stood only a little over a mere two thirds of male managers’ fork out. That is, for each euro earned by a male manager, a female manager earns 32 cents a lot less. Despite the fact that the gender fork out gap for leading administrators has narrowed by far more than 10 percentage factors in the 23-12 months time period of our analyze, that does not automatically stem from a reduce in discrimination. By 2017, woman shell out represented practically four fifths of male wages. However, when we take observable properties into account, together with age, tenure, and schooling, and compute an ‘adjusted’ gender pay gap (represented by the dashed line in Determine 1), we find that the catch up in wages of feminine leading managers is exclusively because of to the catching up in abilities, with no reduction in the unexplained element of the wage big difference, commonly equated with gender discrimination (Cardoso et al. 2016). Our success are in line with the results of Azamat and Petrongolo (2014), who doc that, even though the gender hole in training has shut or even reversed in quite a few nations around the world, the gender bias in pay back, employment degrees, or prospects has not vanished. Furthermore, when we take into account variances in managers´ networks (represented by the dotted line in Figure 1), we uncover that networks are crucial in detailing a substantial portion of the gender pay hole. 

Determine 1 The gender fork out hole in excess of time

Much larger networks aid accessibility to companies with more generous payment guidelines

Estimating a wage equation with substantial-dimensional preset results and utilizing the Gelbach decomposition technique, we can unambiguously decompose the contribution of each individual resource of the observed gender pay gap among major administrators. Our success are introduced in Figure 2. Getting into account the managers’ observable properties of age, tenure, and education, which describe somewhere around 4.1 proportion factors of the pay back gap, we clearly show how a major portion of the remaining gender pay back gap is described by heterogeneity in firms’ compensation procedures, as captured by agency mounted outcomes. In other text, the sorting of managers into companies, where by male top managers segregate into companies with more generous shell out guidelines, accounts for just about 7.5 proportion factors of the pay out hole. Place otherwise, a random allocation of professionals across firms, one particular this kind of that woman administrators would no extended be disproportionately allocated to corporations with reduce payment, would decrease the gender shell out hole at the best by one third. Interestingly, we also estimate that more than 50% of this firm sorting channel derives from differences in networks, as better-related managers, generally male supervisors, have access to increased paying out corporations.

Last but not least, we come across that managers’ unobserved long term characteristics, captured by manager fixed consequences, describe the remaining two thirds of the gender pay gap. These unobserved manager traits (unobserved from the researcher’s viewpoint), can be equated the two with unobserved techniques but also with sorts of gender discrimination not involved with sorting of professionals across firms.

Determine 2 Decomposing the gender pay hole at the top

The gender composition of networks also matters: Ladies support ladies

Getting recognized the crucial position of managers’ networks in detailing the gender spend gap amid prime supervisors, we additional investigate how woman administrators can greatest leverage their networks to conquer gender segregation across firms. We study the part of the two community dimensions as well as community gender composition. Very first, we discover no evidence by any means of a distinct role of community dimensions for male and woman managers. Still, and importantly, we do uncover that community gender composition has important and distinctive outcomes for feminine and male managers. 

Figure 3 depicts the outcomes of 3 distinct checks, run independently for male and female managers. We account for the pursuing community traits: the gender composition of networks, in conditions of number (higher panel) the gender composition of the networks, with a larger pounds presented to additional strong connections (center panel) and the gender composition of networks, offering a bigger body weight to closer/deeper connections (decreased panel). 

Determine 3 The worth of gender-specific connections

Note: The dots signify the believed coefficients from a propensity score matching method, though the lines characterize the 90% self confidence interval. The crimson/blue figures refer to 3 unique regressions run on the sample of female/male best professionals. A adverse value implies administrators gain more from feminine-dominant networks, a constructive worth the reverse.

We emphasis on episodes of occupation transitions and use a propensity score course of action to assess top professionals with male-dominant networks to supervisors with female-dominant networks, just after controlling for manager features. We come across that, in conditions of wage gains, both of those genders gain far more from male than from feminine connections (higher panel). Nevertheless, this end result is biased by the reality that most potent top rated supervisors are male. As soon as we account for the electric power of the connections – in terms of the size of the companies they control – we discover that female top rated professionals reward similarly from male or woman dominated networks, while male supervisors go on to reward far more from male connections (see middle panel). Lastly, we contemplate the depth of the connections by attributing a greater bodyweight to connections with whom one has worked for a extended interval and/or in more compact companies, which we look at a proxy for the ‘inner circle’ of the supervisor. Performing so, we obtain that both equally feminine and male administrators advantage most from connections to professionals of their possess gender. In sum, the closest community connections look to gain mostly managers of the very same gender. Additional specially, woman administrators can profit from having close connections with other woman supervisors.

Our success demonstrate how, in a male-dominated company globe, gender bias may well be perpetuated. In light of the existing male more than-representation in leadership roles and the bias toward benefiting our peers, the position of feminine networks for feminine managers is an significant, however undocumented, point. Guidelines that favour elevated feminine presence in management positions are most likely to have quantifiable and important spillovers, by facilitating the access of much more girls to major handling work opportunities. The exact kind of all those procedures – quotas, mentorship programs, or alternate options is an significant item of additional investigation.


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