Managers’ Political Beliefs and Gender Inequality among Subordinates: Does His Ideology Matter More than Hers?
70 Pages Posted: 26 Jan 2016 Last revised: 14 Feb 2017
Date Written: January 25, 2016
Little research directly explores whether managers’ beliefs and attitudes influence gender inequality among their subordinates. We bring beliefs and attitudes to the fore by theorizing about the relationship between managers’ political ideology, situated on a liberal-conservative continuum, and differences in the hiring, work team selection, and promotion of male versus female subordinates. Further, we theorize about how manager gender moderates the relationship between manager ideology and subordinate inequality. We analyze novel microdata from the legal industry, and we find that law offices whose partners are more liberal hire a larger percentage of female associates, that more liberal partners are more likely to select female associates to be members of their client teams, and that associates whose supervising partners are more liberal have greater gender parity in promotion rates. Further, we find that the ideology of male partners is significantly more powerful than the ideology of female partners in affecting these differences. We find little evidence that sorting on the part of higher quality female associates drives the results.
Keywords: Gender, inequality, employment relation, labor markets
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