Focal random selection closes the gender gap in competitiveness

Berger, Joël; Osterloh, Margit; Rost, Katja (2020). Focal random selection closes the gender gap in competitiveness. Science Advances, 6(47), eabb2142. American Association for the Advancement of Science 10.1126/sciadv.abb2142

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Gender differences in choosing to enter competitions are an important cause of the leaky pipeline for women in leadership roles and represent a considerable waste of human resources. We used an incentivized laboratory experiment to evaluate whether the introduction of random elements alters the gender gap in competitiveness. We found that focal random selection from a preselected pool removes the difference in competitiveness between men and women and does not dilute the qualifications of the entrants. The percentage of women who took part in competitions was nearly triple, and that of high-ability women double, with focal random selection compared to selection in pure performance competitions. In contrast, the behavior of men remained largely unchanged. Focal random selection closes the gender gap in competitiveness and can substantially enlarge the pool of high-performing women who apply for top jobs.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

03 Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences > Social Sciences > Institute of Sociology

UniBE Contributor:

Berger, Joël

Subjects:

300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 330 Economics
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 350 Public administration & military science
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 360 Social problems & social services

ISSN:

2375-2548

Publisher:

American Association for the Advancement of Science

Language:

English

Submitter:

Joël Berger

Date Deposited:

03 Dec 2020 10:44

Last Modified:

03 Dec 2020 10:44

Publisher DOI:

10.1126/sciadv.abb2142

Uncontrolled Keywords:

Gender, Competitiveness, Experiment

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.148387

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/148387

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