Category Archives: Working Women

Job-Hopping Toward Equity

Source: Boris Groysberg, Paul Healy, and Eric Lin, MIT Sloan Management Review, July 14, 2021

Changing employers can help narrow the gender gap in executive compensation.

For managers and executives, changing employers has been linked to larger increases in pay. So we set out to explore whether women — particularly those in senior roles — can use external moves to increase their own compensation and perhaps narrow the gender pay gap.

Existing survey-based studies suggest that gains from switching employers are less pronounced for women than for men. These studies broadly compare leavers versus stayers by gender. However, leavers and stayers may have different attributes that drive pay increases — and those differences may vary by gender.

For such reasons, we think it’s necessary to take a finer-grained look at the issue by asking some pointed questions. For instance, in external labor markets, do executive women primarily get paid less for doing the same job, or does the disparity have more to do with getting barred from job opportunities with higher pay? Recent work suggests that access to those plum opportunities is a critical component. Short-listing practices in external search firms have been shown to disadvantage women. But studies also show that once executive women enter consideration pools, they are as likely to be selected as men with comparable credentials. That finding raises another question: Once women are placed in these competitive roles as external hires, how do their pay increases compare with those of men brought in from the outside?

In our analysis, they actually compare favorably. Using proprietary data from a top-five executive placement firm, interviews with search firm executives, and career history information on LinkedIn, we looked at more than 2,000 senior-level external job switches across a wide variety of industries and functions. Surprisingly, we found that among executives who change jobs, women get higher-percentage increases than men overall. In this article, we quantify these differences and explore contextual factors that appear to be associated with the gains for women, shedding light on when women might fare better financially in changing employers.

To be clear: Higher increases are not the same thing as higher pay. In our sample of executive job switchers, women are paid, on average, less than men both before the move and after. But in some situations, external moves do appear to reduce pay disparities.

Out of Work, Taking on Care: Young Women Face Mounting Challenges in the “She-Cession”

Source: Shengwei Sun, Institute for Women’s Policy Research, IWPR #C498, Briefing Paper, April 2021

From the abstract:
Longstanding inequities in access to quality jobs and affordable care, along with uneven caregiving responsibilities, create unique challenges for young women of color during this prolonged pandemic recession. Young women (aged 16 to 24) were more likely to lose their job than young men and workers of other age groups in the initial months of the pandemic recession, largely due to their concentration in industries and occupations that have been hit the hardest by the economic downturn.

Effect of Gender Roles and Workplace Violence on the Professional Quality of Life and Wellbeing at Work Among Child Protection Workers

Source: Renaud Dufour, Robert-Paul Juster, Steve Geoffrion, Annals of Work Exposures and Health, Volume 65, Issue 3, April 2021
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
Exposure to workplace violence puts child protection workers at risk for adverse occupational outcomes. While previous studies have identified protective and risk factors, individual differences in gender roles have yet to be explored. Moving beyond sex, the present study aims to examine the ways in which gender roles influence exposure to workplace violence, professional quality of life, and wellbeing at work among child protection workers. A randomized sample stratified by sex of 301 Canadian child protection workers (male: 15.6%, female: 84.4%) completed validated questionnaires of gender roles, professional quality of life, and wellbeing at work. We assessed mean differences using analyses of covariances controlling for clinical experience and type of work. We then assessed the moderating effect of gender roles on other variables through hierarchical multiple linear regressions. Androgyny (high masculinity and high femininity) was associated with higher scores on positive indicators of professional quality of life and wellbeing at work. However, gender roles showed no significant moderating effect on the relationship between exposure to violence, professional quality of life, and wellbeing at work. Results suggest that androgyny could be related to potential psychosocial benefits for child protection workers.

Breaking the Cycle of Bias That Works Against Women Leaders

Source: Maryam Kouchaki, Burak Oc, and Ekaterina Netchaeva, MIT Sloan Management Review, March 31, 2021
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Women are presented job opportunities differently than men — depending on the hiring manager’s political ideology.

It turns out that gender bias in hiring and advancement is more pervasive than we thought.

While progress has certainly been made toward workplace gender parity — some companies, for example, are writing more gender-balanced performance reviews — the reality is that women are still underrepresented in private-sector leadership positions. There are likely multiple drivers of this. Outright discrimination — denying women jobs on the basis of their gender rather than their skill sets — is certainly one. But another, harder-to-detect factor can contribute to the leadership gap: the tendency of some organizational decision makers to subtly dissuade women from pursuing leadership roles….

It’s a man’s world! The role of political ideology in the early stages of leader recruitment
Source: Burak Oc, Ekaterina Netchaeva, Maryam Kouchaki, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Volume 162, January 2021
(subscription required)

• Conservatives describe a leadership position less positively to a female candidate.
• Liberals do not demonstrate such gender bias.
• Conservatives experience greater anxiety when communicating with female candidates.
• Anxious decision makers describe the position less positively to candidates.

Previous research has demonstrated the impact of political ideology on a wide variety of psychological and behavioral processes. Contributing to this research, we examine the effect of organizational decision makers’ political ideology and job candidates’ gender on how the decision makers communicate information about leadership positions to the candidate. In five studies, we demonstrate that decision makers who are more conservative exhibit gender bias by providing a female (versus male) candidate with a less positive description of a leadership position, an effect driven by the decision makers’ felt anxiety. We further show that making information on women’s success in leadership positions salient diminishes the effect of political ideology insofar as both more and less conservative decision makers will exhibit similar levels of positivity when communicating with a prospective female candidate. Finally, we discuss the theoretical and practical implications of our findings.

Impact of Compensation on Inclusive Organizations

Source: Muhammad Irfan, Omar K. Bhatti, Rashida K. Malik, Compensation & Benefits Review, Vol 53, Issue 3, 2021
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
Discrimination in compensation for minority groups and individuals with regard to gender, physical disability, religion, and culture affects inclusion in an organization. This study is a combination of two studies and endeavors to verify our initial inference that compensation gaps are significantly related to inclusion. A mixed method approach has been adopted; in first part of the study, compensation data obtained from 32 organizations (608 observations) have been analyzed quantitatively. The study finds significant correlation between components of compensation gaps and inclusion. Gender as basis of discrimination was found insignificantly correlated to compensation, while pay for performance was found negatively related to inclusion. We have proposed a model to predict feeling of inclusion if components of compensation and discriminatory factors are known. In second part of the study, based on 25 in-depth interviews, cognitive basis of compensation gaps has been divulged, and we conclude that implementation of compensation equity and removal of cognitive bases of discrimination seem mandatory actions for inclusion.

Beyond Wages: Effects of the Latina Wage Gap

Source: National Partnership for Women & Families, Fact Sheet, March 2021

…Even as Latinas have entered the workforce in record numbers – now with more than 12 million workers – they continue to face the largest wage gap among women. Latinas in the United States are typically paid just 55 cents for every dollar paid to White, nonHispanic men. Overall, all women employed full time, year-round are typically paid 82 cents compared to every dollar paid to the general population, both men and women, employed full time, year-round.

Black Women and the Wage Gap

Source: National Partnership for Women & Families, Fact Sheet, March 2021

…Today this means that Black women in the United States who work full time, year-round are typically paid just 63 cents for every dollar paid to white, non-Hispanic men. The wages of Black women are driven down by a number of current factors including gender and racial discrimination, workplace harassment, job segregation and a lack of workplace policies that support family caregiving, which is still most often performed by women. Overall, women employed full time, year-round are typically paid 82 cents for every dollar paid to men.

Asian American and Pacific Islander Women and the Wage Gap

Source: National Partnership for Women & Families, Fact Sheet, March 2021

…Today this means that Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) women who work full time, year-round are paid as little as 52 cents for every dollar paid to white, nonHispanic men, as Burmese women are. Asian American women overall are paid just 87 cents for every dollar paid to white, non-Hispanic men. The wages of AAPI women are driven down by a number of current factors including gender and racial discrimination, workplace harassment, job segregation and the devaluing of jobs dominated by women, and the lack of support for family caregiving, which is still most often performed by women.

A Post-Pandemic Antidiscrimination Approach to Workplace Flexibility

Source: Michelle A. Travis, Washington University Journal of Law and Policy, Vol. 64, 2021, Date Written: December 17, 2020

From the abstract:
The dramatic workplace changes in the wake of the global pandemic offer courts both an opportunity and an obligation to reexamine prior antidiscrimination case law on workplace flexibility. Before COVID-19, courts embraced an essentialized view of workplaces built upon a “full-time face-time norm,” which refers to the judicial presumption that work is defined by long hours, rigid schedules, and uninterrupted, in-person performance at a centralized workspace. By applying this presumption to both accommodation requests under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and to disparate impact claims under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, pre-pandemic courts systematically undermined antidiscrimination law’s potential for workplace restructuring to expand equal opportunities for individuals with disabilities and for women with disproportionate caregiving responsibilities. This Article demonstrates how employers’ widespread adoption of flexible work arrangements in the wake of COVID-19—including telecommuting, modified schedules, temporary leaves, and other flextime options—undermine these prior decisions and demand a new analysis of antidiscrimination law’s potential to advance workplace flexibility.