Sex Discrimination and Female Top Managers: Evidence from China

46 Pages Posted: 10 Dec 2013 Last revised: 30 Sep 2015

See all articles by Huasheng Gao

Huasheng Gao

Fanhai International School of Finance, Fudan University

Yaheng Lin

Nanyang Technological University (NTU)

Yujing Ma

Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Date Written: September 28, 2015

Abstract

We examine whether sex discrimination contributes to the underrepresentation of female executives in large corporations. China’s strong cultural preference for sons has made newborn boys greatly outnumber newborn girls. Using the male-to-female sex ratio at birth as the proxy for discrimination against women, we find that firms headquartered in more discriminatory areas hire fewer female executives. Even conditional on a woman reaching an executive position, she faces a higher likelihood of dismissal and receives lower compensation than her male counterparts. Overall, our findings suggest that sex discrimination plays an important role in preventing women from climbing the corporate ladder.

Keywords: Sex discrimination, Female, Gender, Sex ratio, Corporate executives, Executive compensation, Turnover, China

JEL Classification: G30, J71

Suggested Citation

Gao, Huasheng and Lin, Yaheng and Ma, Yujing, Sex Discrimination and Female Top Managers: Evidence from China (September 28, 2015). Journal of Business Ethics, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2365211 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2365211

Huasheng Gao (Contact Author)

Fanhai International School of Finance, Fudan University ( email )

Beijing West District Baiyun Load 10th
Shanghai, 100045
China
2165642222 (Phone)
2165642222 (Fax)

Yaheng Lin

Nanyang Technological University (NTU) ( email )

S3 B2-A28 Nanyang Avenue
Singapore, 639798
Singapore

Yujing Ma

Hong Kong Polytechnic University ( email )

Hung Hom
Kowloon
Hong Kong

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