Death by a Thousand Cuts: The Impact of Gender Bias on Career Progression
In Do Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Matter? Issues and Solutions (Chapter 4). Singapore: World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd. Expected to be published in 2023.
33 Pages Posted: 19 Dec 2022 Last revised: 2 Mar 2023
Date Written: September 11, 2022
Progress has been made in the last century toward reducing gender bias in society at large and in the workplace specifically. The negative impact gender differentiation has on women’s careers, however, is not gone. Differential treatment and biases have moved from explicit to more implicit. These biases are rooted in decades of modeling and stereotyping women as communal and men as agentic, thereby casting women as caregivers and men as leaders. The stereotyping influences women’s professional lives by tainting both supervisors’ and employees’ decisions. The differentiation starts already in hiring decisions, which include decisions on who to hire, at what rank, and how much to pay. Once women are hired, the bias continues in task allocation and performance evaluation, which determine immediate compensation and subsequent promotions. Thus, women’s career progressions are made more complicated throughout their entire participation in the workforce. The multifaceted nature of the problem suggests that only a holistic approach can significantly reduce gender bias.
Keywords: Gender Wage Gap, Gender Stereotypes, Hiring, Performance Measures, Performance Evaluations, Task Allocation, Gender, Attributions, Labor Supply, Time Use, Diversity, Professional Networks, Role Congruity Theory, Glass Ceiling
JEL Classification: J16, J31, J24, J22, J7, E24,
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation