Gender Equality in Organizational Decisions. Are We Making Progress?

23 Pages Posted: 19 Feb 2024

See all articles by José Javier Domínguez

José Javier Domínguez

University of Granada - Department of Economic Theory and Economic History

Juan A. Lacomba

University of Granada - Faculty of Economics and Business Administration

Francisco Lagos

University of Granada - Faculty of Economics and Business Administration

Natalia Montinari

Università di Bologna

Abstract

The underrepresentation of women in male-dominated labor markets has been often attributed to biased perceptions of their capabilities. However, over the last few decades, certain countries have witnessed a notable inclusion of women in political and economic spheres. This inclusion has been particularly increasing in Spain. To explore the impact of this evolution on individuals' perceptions on women’s capabilities and labor market decisions, we conducted an online experiment involving a representative sample of the Spanish population (N=806) with respect to five age groups and gender. The study compares hiring and task assignment decisions across five distinct age groups. Our results reveal either equality or, in some instances, positive discrimination in favor of women. Moreover, we find a positive impact of age on hiring irrespectively from the gender of the employers. We attribute this pattern to the development of beliefs about females’ ability with age, and possibly, with experience in the workplace. As age increases, the male employers’ perceived ability of female candidates monotonically increases in comparison to male candidates, providing a mechanism to explain the observed decisions. Young female employers tend to overestimate women's capabilities, while young male employers tend to underestimate them. When considering older groups, we observe that, women tend to moderate their beliefs about women's abilities, while men increase their perception. Our results emphasize the importance of understanding age-related patterns in employment decisions, opening avenues for specific strategies that promote inclusion and combat gender discrimination.

Keywords: Hiring, Task Assignment, Gender, Age, Online Experiment, Spain.

Suggested Citation

Domínguez, José Javier and Lacomba, Juan A. and Lagos, Francisco and Montinari, Natalia, Gender Equality in Organizational Decisions. Are We Making Progress?. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4731868 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4731868

José Javier Domínguez (Contact Author)

University of Granada - Department of Economic Theory and Economic History

Granada
Spain

Juan A. Lacomba

University of Granada - Faculty of Economics and Business Administration ( email )

Granada, E-18071
Spain

Francisco Lagos

University of Granada - Faculty of Economics and Business Administration ( email )

Natalia Montinari

Università di Bologna ( email )

Via Zamboni, 33
Bologna, 40126
Italy

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