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Are Women Unfairly Passed Over for Promotions?

Randy Freking

A new Gallup Poll in August found that 15% of working women say they have at some point felt passed over for a promotion or opportunity at work because of their gender.  Similarly, 13% feel that their gender has played a role in being denied a raise.

The results of the Poll were similar when accounting for age, education, and type of employment.

Some may ask why the numbers – 15% or even 13% – are not higher?  One researcher after another have revealed that men are favored for jobs even when male and female candidates are equally – or even identically – qualified.  Meanwhile, other research finds that men continue to get bigger raises than women, even when women ask for them.

One explanation for the relatively low percentages is that almost half of all employees work in “sex segregated” jobs, or occupations that are predominately male or female.  For example, a nurse may not compare herself to an engineer – she is comparing herself to other nurses, many of whom are female.

For more information regarding new evidence on gender differences in promotions and pay, visit  The Digest from the National Bureau of Economic Research.

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