in this case her boss rather than her partner is sealed on a sexual basis and

In this case her boss rather than her partner is

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in this case, her boss rather than her partner is sealed on a sexual basis, and sexual demands can become terms or conditions of her employment and career progression. Sexual harassment therefore undermines the emancipatory potential of employment for women (MacKinnon, 1979). It can also result in tangible economic penalties for women. For instance, McLaughlin et al. (2017) found that women who had experienced workplace sexual harassment were more likely to quit or change jobs than non-harassed women and to face difficulties in meeting their financial commitments 12 months later. Consequently, the occurrence of sexual harassment potentially diminishes wo men’s presence in the labour market (Elman, 1996), career progression and - in extreme cases - their abilities to support themselves independently of a partner, i.e. defamilialisation. Besides actively changing a company’s policies and culture, women on boards and in executive management offer a powerful symbol for other women in the organisation. Seeing others ‘like them’ – i.e. women - in the top positions signals that women can be successful in and are valued by the firm (e.g. Ely, 1995; Konrad et al., 2008). In turn, the self-esteem of women further down the organisational hierarchy may improve, thereby encouraging more to seek promotion. For example, Bertrand et al. (2019) found that the career expectations of young
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13 women in business had improved following the introduction of a 40 per cent quota for women on corporate boards in Norway, with many believing the legislation would improve their future earnings and chances of reaching higher-level positions. Similarly, experimental studies have found that women are more likely to put themselves forward for competitive and leadership positions upon exposure to female role models (e.g. Meier et al., 2018). It is through these mechanisms that gender diversity in board and executive positions can translate into better pay and career outcomes for subordinate women within the firm. Indeed, research has shown that increasing the proportion of women on a company’s leadership team is associated with a reduced concentration of women in feminised, lower-paying jobs further down the company, as well as women’s increased representation in more lucrative roles (Kurtulus and Tomaskovic-Devey, 2012; Stainback et al., 2016). Research has also shown a positive association between women’s share of board and executive positions and female earnings at lower levels of the organisation. For instance, in a longitudinal study of private- sector firms in Portugal, Cardoso and Winter-Ebmer (2010) found that women earned a 3 per cent wage premium when more than half of a company’s leadership team were women. The positive trickle-down effects on gender wage gaps are strongest when women reach board and executive levels (Cohen and Huffman, 2007; Hirsch, 2013; Halldén et al., 2018).
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