The Gender Promotion Gap: Evidence from Central Banking

53 Pages Posted: 17 Apr 2019 Last revised: 17 Jul 2019

See all articles by Laura Hospido

Laura Hospido

Banco de España - Research Department

Luc Laeven

European Central Bank (ECB); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Ana Lamo

European Central Bank (ECB)

Multiple version iconThere are 4 versions of this paper

Date Written: April 16, 2019

Abstract

We examine gender differences in career progression and promotions in central banking, a stereotypical male-dominated occupation, using confidential anonymized personnel data from the European Central Bank (ECB) during the period 2003-2017. A wage gap emerges between men and women within a few years of hiring, despite broadly similar entry conditions in terms of salary levels and other observables. We also find that women are less likely to be promoted to a higher salary band up until 2010 when the ECB issued a public statement supporting diversity and took several measures to support gender balance. Following this change, the promotion gap disappears. The gender promotion gap prior to this policy change is partly driven by the presence of children. Using 2012-2017 data on promotion applications and decisions, we explore the promotion process in depth, and confirm that during this most recent period women are as likely to be promoted as men. This results from a lower probability of women to apply for promotion, combined with a higher probability of women to be selected conditional on having applied. Following promotion, women perform better in terms of salary progression, suggesting that the higher probability to be selected is based on merit, not positive discrimination.

Keywords: gender gaps, working histories, promotions, central banking

JEL Classification: J16, J31, J41, J63

Suggested Citation

Hospido, Laura and Laeven, Luc A. and Lamo, Ana, The Gender Promotion Gap: Evidence from Central Banking (April 16, 2019). Banco de Espana Working Paper No. 1915. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3373009 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3373009

Laura Hospido (Contact Author)

Banco de España - Research Department ( email )

Alcala 48
Madrid, 28014
Spain
+34 913385625 (Phone)
+34 913385678 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.laurahospido.com/

Luc A. Laeven

European Central Bank (ECB) ( email )

Sonnemannstrasse 22
Frankfurt am Main, 60314
Germany

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

Ana Lamo

European Central Bank (ECB) ( email )

Sonnemannstrasse 22
Frankfurt am Main, 60314
Germany

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