Good-Bye Glass Ceiling? (the Periodical Observer - Economics, Labor & Business)

Article excerpt

"The Gender Gap in Top Corporate Jobs" by Marianne Bertrand and Kevin F. Hallock, in Industrial and Labor Relations Review (Oct. 2001), 201 ILR Research Bldg., Cornell Univ., Ithaca, N.Y. 14853-3901.

There are more cracks in the corporate glass ceiling than most social commentators have noticed, and pay equity is now pretty well established in the executive suites, the authors of this statistical study of 1,500 companies conclude. That's the good news. The bad news is that women occupy less than four percent of the top jobs in corporate America--though that percentage tripled in a recent five-year period.

In what they describe as "the first detailed description of the relative position of female top executives in the 1990s," the authors found a lot of change. Only 5.4 percent of the firms studied had a woman among their top five executives in 1992; five years later, 15 percent did. The pay gap shrank: Women earned 52 percent as much as men in 1993, but 73 percent in 1997.

Pay gap? Yes, there is one-the women in this study earned $900,000 on average in 1997, while the men pocketed $1.3 million. …