Tuesday, March 08, 2011

The CEO Has a Daughter: Shrinking the Gender Wage Gap?

Knowledge@Wharton profiles some fascinating new research by David Gaddis Ross, Michael Dahl, and Christian Dezso. They conducted a study in Denmark on the pay gap between men and women in various businesses. Specifically, they examined whether the gap grew or shrunk after a company's CEO had a daughter. They found that the gender wage gap decreased at firms after the CEO welcomed a daughter to the family. The birth of a son did not have a material effect on the pay gap between men and women in the organization. First-born daughters had a more substantial impact than the following children. The study suggests that the birth of a daughter causes a CEO to adopt a different perspective with regard to women in the workforce. The result does not strike me as surprising, but proving the point with data clearly constitutes a major contribution. As someone with two daughters, it certainly makes me consider how my attitudes and actions have changed since their births.

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