Do Women Managers Ameliorate Gender Differences in Wages? Evidence from a Large Grocery Retailer

  • Penner A
  • Toro-Tulla H
  • Huffman M
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Women's disadvantages in labor market outcomes are often attributed to
the preponderance of men at or near the top of organizational
hierarchies. While theories of homophily predict that women in positions
of power ameliorate gender differences in wages for employees under
them, status characteristics theory suggests that women face comparable
disadvantages when working under men and women. Despite the existence of
competing theoretical perspectives, there is little empirical work
investigating the effect of women in positions of organizational power
on gender inequality among their subordinates. This study makes an
important contribution to this literature by using employment records
from 3,707 employees at a large U.S.-based grocery retailer over nine
years to examine how the gender gap in wages varies in establishments
with male and female managers. Consistent with status characteristics
theory, the authors find no significant differences between male and
female managers in terms of gender-based wage inequality among their

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  • Andrew M. Penner

  • Harold J. Toro-Tulla

  • Matt L. Huffman

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