Bending the pipeline: Executive search and gender inequality in hiring for top management jobs

Fernandez-Mateo, I and Fernandez, R (2016) Bending the pipeline: Executive search and gender inequality in hiring for top management jobs. Management Science, 62 (12). pp. 3636-3655. ISSN 0025-1909

Abstract

We study the sources of women’s underrepresentation in hiring for top management jobs by focusing on the context of executive search. Using data that include proprietary information on 10,970 individuals considered by a search firm, we examine the sources of the low proportion of women placed in senior roles. Contrary to received wisdom, we find limited evidence that demand-side screeners strongly contribute to gender disadvantage in this setting. What gender differences exist tend to play out at the start of the hiring process and are driven both by supply-side and demand-side actors. Once considered for a position, women are no less likely than men to be hired—though they are slightly less likely to be interviewed by the search firm. Our findings highlight the theoretical importance of disentangling candidates’ “self-steering” behavior from the “pipeline bending” of hiring agents. We discuss the implications of our results for understanding gender inequality at upper echelons of the labor market.

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Item Type: Article
Subject Areas: Strategy and Entrepreneurship
Additional Information: © 2015 INFORMS
Date Deposited: 02 Mar 2016 18:51
Last Modified: 18 Jul 2018 16:02
URI: http://lbsresearch.london.edu/id/eprint/111
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