The Gender Gap in Executive Promotions

67 Pages Posted: 11 Jan 2018 Last revised: 29 Aug 2018

See all articles by Jing Xu

Jing Xu

University of Technology Sydney (UTS)

Date Written: April 1, 2018


Using comprehensive executive data in 5,886 U.S. firms from 2000 to 2015, I document that the promotion rate for women is 31% lower than the promotion rate for men. While sorting into executive positions in different functional areas explains a substantial portion of the promotion gap, a gap of 20% remains unexplained. Consistent with the presence of taste-based discrimination, the promotion gap is lower in firms in more competitive product markets. I find no evidence that the gap is lower in firms with more female directors, suggesting that board gender quotas may not increase female management representation.

Keywords: Gender, Promotion, Discrimination

JEL Classification: J16, J20, G34, G38

Suggested Citation

Xu, Jing, The Gender Gap in Executive Promotions (April 1, 2018). Asian Finance Association (AsianFA) 2018 Conference. Available at SSRN: or

Jing Xu (Contact Author)

University of Technology Sydney (UTS) ( email )

15 Broadway, Ultimo
PO Box 123
Sydney, NSW 2007
+61295147764 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics