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Valdemar Smith

Gender differences in promotion into top-management jobs

Research output: Working paper/Preprint Working paperResearch


  • Wp 08-21

    Final published version, 100 KB, PDF document

  • Department of Economics
  • Centre for Research in Integration, Education, Qualifications and Marginalization (CIM)
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, males' career opportunities are declining if the wife is working, whereas the women's 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.
Original languageEnglish
Place of publicationAarhus
PublisherAarhus School of Business, Aarhus University, Department of Economics
Number of pages26
ISBN (Print)9788778823830
ISBN (Electronic)9788778823847
Publication statusPublished - 2008

    Research areas

  • Promotion process, Gender differences, Top management

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