The Glass Web: Kinship Networks, Female Executives, and Firm Outcomes in the Middle East

35 Pages Posted: 10 Apr 2024

See all articles by Alessandra González

Alessandra González

University of Chicago - Department of Economics

Nicolas Wesseler

UBC Sauder School of Business, Canada.

Date Written: April 9, 2024

Abstract

Leveraging data on firms operating in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries and a novel measure of family ties among firm executives, we show the quantitative importance of kinship ties for female executives in settings and industries characterized by low female representation. Our findings suggest that kinship ties bring women into executive networks, what we call ‘the glass web’, that make up the proverbial glass ceiling which has traditionally kept women out of business leadership. We combine our executive-level data with administrative employer-employee matched data for Saudi Arabia to show that greater representation of women among firm executives, with or without a kinship tie, is associated with more gender-equal outcomes at the firm, including greater female employee share and smaller gender wage gaps.

Suggested Citation

González, Alessandra and Wesseler, Nicolas, The Glass Web: Kinship Networks, Female Executives, and Firm Outcomes in the Middle East (April 9, 2024). University of Chicago, Becker Friedman Institute for Economics Working Paper No. 2024-41, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4788893 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4788893

Alessandra González (Contact Author)

University of Chicago - Department of Economics ( email )

1126 E. 59th St
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

Nicolas Wesseler

UBC Sauder School of Business, Canada. ( email )

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