The gender gap in job authority: Do social network resources matter?
Number of pages
SourceActa Sociologica (Oslo), 63, 4, (2020), pp. 381-399
Article / Letter to editor
Display more detailsDisplay less details
SW OZ RSCR SOC
Acta Sociologica (Oslo)
SubjectInequality Cohesion Rationalization; Ongelijkheid Cohesie Rationalisatie
Women generally have less job authority than men. Previous research has shown that human capital, family features and contextual factors cannot fully explain this gender authority gap. Another popular explanation holds that women's career opportunities are limited because their social networks comprise less beneficial contacts and resources than men's. Yet, the role of social networks has received little attention in empirical research seeking to explain the gender gap in job authority. This study examines to what extent gender differences in social networks exist and are related to the gender authority gap. Drawing on two strands of social network theory, we develop hypotheses about the role of network diversity and network status. We test these hypotheses using representative longitudinal data from the NEtherlands Longitudinal Lifecourse Study (2009–2013). Results reveal that women generally had less diverse occupational networks in terms of contacts' occupations and were less likely to know managers than men, network features which are found to be significantly related to job authority. Controlling for these gender differences in networks leads to a reduction of the observed gender authority gap that is statistically significant but modest in substantive terms.
Upload full text