Previous research studies showed women surging in the workplace, acquiring the majority of demanding, highly-skilled occupations in various industries.
In a recent study, however, a research group at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute found that women securing these skilled occupations, particularly in a tech-based role, are at a higher likelihood of promotion compared to their male counterparts.
The new study, published in Information Systems Research, is contradictory to consensus made by some experts on the state of gender inequality in the workplace.
The group’s findings were the result of a thorough analysis of more than 7,000 employees at a prominent information technology (IT) company in India. During the span of 2002 to 2007, archival promotion data, which included administrative, demographic and human capital data, were examined to determine the differential effect of gender and performance on promotions.
“We find that, contrary to expectations, women are more likely to be promoted, on average,” according to the study’s co-authors. “However, looking deeper into the heterogeneous main effects using hierarchical Bayesian modeling reveals more nuanced insights.”
In the findings, the group uncovered that women are more likely than men to be promoted in the workplace simply because they are regarded as more insightful and trustworthy, whereas men may show fewer disparities and an increased chance of promotion solely on performance improvements.
“We find that the effects of gender and performance vary with the level of employee promotion; although not as much as men, women benefit more from performance gains at higher organizational levels,” the findings declared.
“Our findings suggest several actionable managerial insights that can potentially make IT firms more inclusive and attractive to women.”
The study, titled Onward and Upward? An Empirical Investigation of Gender and Promotions in Information Technology Services, was co-authored by Nishtha Langer, Ram Gopal, and Ravi Bapna.