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Female Bosses May Not Push Pay Parity

Study found some women did worse financially when working for a female manager

THURSDAY, June 25, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- New research suggests that having a female boss doesn't necessarily translate into higher wages for working women.

A study from the University of California, Berkley found that working under a female manager may actually lower women's salaries.

It may be naive to assume that an increase in the number of women in leadership roles will automatically close the gender wage gap, the study authors suggested. Instead, fundamental change may require organizational cultures that support gender equality.

The study involved 1,700 full-time employees in the United States. The participants worked for a leading company in the information services industry between 2005 and 2009. Researchers examined the participants' demographics as well as their job data, such as their salary, manager, annual performance evaluations and bonuses.

The study will be published in an upcoming issue of the American Journal of Sociology.

The study authors theorized that female employees may fare worse under a female boss when women worry that other people won't view them as part of a valuable group.

"A high-performing woman might, for example, worry about being devalued because of her association with a low-performing female subordinate," study co-author Sameer Srivastava, an assistant professor at Berkeley's Haas School of Business, said in a university news release. "This might lead her to undervalue the subordinate's contributions."

More information

The U.S. Department of Labor has more about the gender wage gap.

SOURCE: University of California, Berkeley, Haas School of Business, news release, June 18, 2015
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