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Female Bosses Don’t Necessarily Help Women Get Ahead


Today in Depressing News from the Gender Pay Gap, we present to you the results of a recent study called "Women in Charge: The Impact of Female Managers on Gender Inequality." Compiled by MIT Ph.D. student Mabel Abraham using data from 68 bank branches, the report found that having a woman for a boss didn't help female employees get promotions or raises.

Fourty-four percent of the bank managers in Abraham's study were female, while 75 percent of the whole staff were female. Men held disproportionately high managerial roles, while women tended to work at the lower end of the corporate hierarchy. In short, tellers were more likely to be female, while vice presidents were more likely to be male.

Why didn't female managers advocate for and promote other women more often? Abraham speculates that "because women fear that others will not perceive them as valuable members of the organization, they will be less apt to support other women within the organization. Not advocating for female employees in terms of wages and job allocation may be a response to female managers' perceived external appraisals."

Or, as Susan Adams in Forbes explains, "In other words, women managers may be afraid to promote and advocate for women because they feel their reputations are on the line and they don't want to risk a negative judgment."

Do You Know What You're Worth?

The study did find one benefit for women with female managers: they were more likely to be receptive to the idea of granting a flexible schedule. However, the paper noted that this benefit was applied equally to both men and women.

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(Photo Credit: Victor1558/Flickr)

Jen Hubley Luckwaldt
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