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The Gender Gap in Top Corporate Jobs

Marianne Bertrand and Kevin F. Hallock
Industrial and Labor Relations Review
Vol. 55, No. 1 (Oct., 2001), pp. 3-21
Published by: Sage Publications, Inc.
DOI: 10.2307/2696183
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2696183
Page Count: 19
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The Gender Gap in Top Corporate Jobs
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Abstract

Using the ExecuComp data set, which contains information on the five highest-paid executives in each of a large number of U.S. firms for the years 1992-97, the authors examine the gender compensation gap among high-level executives. Women, who represented about 2.5% of the sample, earned about 45% less than men. As much as 75% of this gap can be explained by the fact that women managed smaller companies and were less likely to be CEO, Chair, or company President. The unexplained gap falls to less than 5% with an allowance for the younger average age and lower average seniority of the female executives. These results do not rule out the possibility of discrimination via gender segregation or unequal promotion. Between 1992 and 1997, however, women nearly tripled their participation in the top executive ranks and also strongly improved their relative compensation, mostly by gaining representation in larger corporations.

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