The Gender Gap in Self-Promotion
104 Pages Posted: 7 Oct 2019 Last revised: 27 Jun 2021
Date Written: October 2019
In applications, interviews, performance reviews, and many other environments, individuals subjectively describe their ability and performance to others. We run a series of experiments, involving over 4,000 participants from online labor markets and over 10,000 school-aged youth. We find a large gender gap in self-promotion: Women subjectively describe their ability and performance to potential employers less favorably than equally performing men. Even when all incentives to promote are removed, however, the gender gap remains. The gender gap in self-promotion is reflective of an underlying gender gap in how individuals subjectively evaluate their own performance. This underlying gender gap proves persistent and arises as early as the sixth grade.
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