Breaking through the glass ceiling? - Gender differences in promotion patterns into CEO and Vice-director positions in Danish companies

Nina Smith1, Valdemar Smith1, Mette Verner 1
1Aarhus University, Denmark, 2Danish School of Media and Journalism, Denmark

This paper analyses the gender gap in promotion into top corporate jobs in Denmark. This is done on the basis of employer-employee data on the 3000 largest private firms in the period 1997-2005. The female representation among CEO’s increased from 3% to 5% in 2005. The gender gap in promotion for potential executives is estimated to be 2 percentage points and 0.5 percentage points for Vice-Directors, and this is basically unchanged, even when a wide range of controls are included. Furthermore, the estimated gender gap has not changed over the time-period. Educational attainment is found to be an important factor in promotion, for both males and females, whereas household characteristics mainly affect promotion probabilities of males. Firm size, being listed on the stock exchange and the gender composition of employees and management also explain the likelihood of promotion.

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