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

See all articles by Seth Carnahan

Seth Carnahan

Washington University in St. Louis

Brad N. Greenwood

George Mason University - School of Business

Date Written: January 25, 2016

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

Carnahan, Seth and Greenwood, Brad, Managers’ Political Beliefs and Gender Inequality among Subordinates: Does His Ideology Matter More than Hers? (January 25, 2016). Fox School of Business Research Paper No. 16-024, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2721979 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2721979

Seth Carnahan

Washington University in St. Louis ( email )

One Brookings Drive
Campus Box 1208
Saint Louis, MO MO 63130-4899
United States

Brad Greenwood (Contact Author)

George Mason University - School of Business ( email )

VA 22030
United States

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