Managers’ Political Ideology and Gender Inequality in Hiring and Promotion
University of Michigan, Stephen M. Ross School of Business
Brad N. Greenwood
Temple University - Department of Management Information Systems
January 25, 2016
Fox School of Business Research Paper No. 16-024
Significant prior research has examined the role that managers play in producing gender inequality in organizations, but little work has directly explored the role of managers’ beliefs and attitudes. We bring managers’ beliefs and attitudes to the fore by theorizing about the relationship between managers’ political ideology, situated on a liberal-conservative continuum, and the level of gender inequality among their subordinates. Using novel microdata from the legal services industry, we find that law offices whose partners are more liberal have lower rates of gender inequality in the hiring and promotion of associate attorneys. Further, examining the interaction between partners’ gender and partners’ political ideology, we find that the political ideology of male partners is significantly more powerful in affecting these differences as compared with the ideology of female partners. Finally, we do not find evidence that these differences are driven by selection, in the form of higher quality female associates choosing to work for more liberal partners. We discuss the implications of our theory and findings for individual careers and firm performance.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 51
Keywords: Gender, inequality, employment relation, labor markets
Date posted: January 26, 2016 ; Last revised: August 11, 2016
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