Once in the Door: Gender, Tryouts, and the Initial Salaries of Managers

Once in the Door: Gender, Tryouts, and the Initial Salaries of Managers

By
Adina Sterling, Roberto M. Fernandez
Management Science. November
2018, Vol. 64, Issue 11, Pages 4967-5460

Although women pursue managerial credentials at nearly the same rate as men, gender disparities in wages exist because of the shortfall in wages women sustain relative to men at the onset of their careers. This article develops a tryout approach to test for the presence of demand-side contributions to initial wage inequality while also developing and testing theory on why it may be lessened through internships. Using detailed data on graduates from an elite management program from 2009–2010, our analyses reveal that internships are associated with the gap in men’s and women’s initial salaries. For men, there is no difference in salary offers from employers where an internship occurs versus one where an internship does not occur. However, women receive higher salaries from employers where an internship first takes place.