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Department of Economics, Aarhus School of Business, University of Aarhus Working Papers, Department of Economics, Aarhus School of Business, University of Aarhus

No 08-21:
Gender differences in promotion into top-management jobs

Linda Bell, Nina Smith (), Valdemar Smith () and Mette Verner ()

Abstract: In this paper the promotion process of top executive officers (CEOs) in Danish private firms is analysed. The main research question to be analysed is whether the lower chances for women to become promoted into top management jobs are mainly attributable to individual background characteristics and special focus is given to the effects of family related variables. The descriptive statistics suggest that the family background (marital status, number of children, spouse labour force participation, education and occupation) differs substantially by gender of individuals in top management. Furthermore, we will try to detect whether women in women-led companies are more likely to be promoted than women in firms managed by men only. The regression results show that the child variables have different effects for women (none) than for men (positive). This is interpreted as evidence of statistical discrimination of women, as the (potential) negative effect of children and parental leave behaviour is included in the constant term and hence applies to all women in the pool of potentials. Furthermore, malesí career opportunities are declining if the wife is working, whereas the womenís careers are only affected if their husbands have a high level occupation. The results also suggest that women employed in women-led firms are more likely to be promoted than in the case of not women-led firms.

Keywords: Promotion process; Gender differences; Top management; (follow links to similar papers)

JEL-Codes: J30; J70; (follow links to similar papers)

26 pages, January 1, 2008

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