Do Female Top Managers Help Women to Advance? A Panel Study Using EEO-1 Records
Annals of American Academy of Political and Social Science, Vol. 639, p. 173, January 2012
25 Pages Posted: 6 Feb 2012
Date Written: February 4, 2012
The goal of this study is to examine whether women in the highest levels of firms’ management ranks help to reduce barriers to women’s advancement in the workplace. Using a panel of more than twenty thousand firms during 1990 to 2003 from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the authors explore the influence of women in top management on subsequent female representation in lower-level managerial positions in U.S. firms. Key findings show that an increase in the share of female top managers is associated with subsequent increases in the share of women in midlevel 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 authors 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.
Keywords: female managers, gender, diversity, race, discrimination, mentoring, promotions, hiring, retention
JEL Classification: J16, J21, J24, J44, J62, J71, J78, J82, M51
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation