Ingrid Haegele - The Broken Rung: Gender and the Leadership Gap

As part of our Economics Seminar Series, you are invited to an online seminar by Ingrid Haegele from Ludwig-Maximilians University of Munich - LMU on “The Broken Rung: Gender and the Leadership Gap”.

Register here to attend.


Women are vastly underrepresented in leadership positions, but little is known about when and why gender gaps in career progression first emerge in the leadership hierarchy. I collect new data from a large multinational firm that combines detailed personnel records with the universe of internal applications and job vacancies. By constructing a granular measure of job hierarchy, I document that women at lower hierarchy levels are 29% less likely to apply for promotions. No such gaps exist among employees who already hold leadership positions, indicating the presence of a broken rung rather than a glass ceiling. Both realized application patterns and large-scale surveys at the firm reveal that taking on leadership of a team is less appealing to women than men at lower hierarchy levels. This difference is large and not explained by a range of other factors, such as family status, risk preferences, or confidence. These findings suggest that the current architecture of leadership positions is an impediment to equal representation.

For further information about the event please contact Gabriel Burdin.