Advanced Placement

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A promotion usually means more money - and more work. But are male and female workers tapped equally for advancement? A new analysis by researchers Deborah Cobb-Clark and Yvonne Dunlop shows that while a gender gap in promotions exists in the early careers of young men and women, it seems to disappear over time. Using data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, Cobb-Clark and Dunlop tracked promotion rates for the same group of workers in 1990 and 1996. In 1990, the group ranged in age from 23 to 33 years. Men were more likely to get promoted in 1990, but women took the lead six years later, slightly edging out their male colleagues for the corner office (see chart). In a recent issue of Monthly Labor Review from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the authors suggest that gains in work experience may explain why women catch up with men later in their careers. The story is similar when it comes to black men, they add. In 1990, promotion rates for black men reached 30! .4 percent, compared to 34.2 per cent for men overall. The gap narrowed substantially by 1996, with advancement for black men at 25.5 percent and men overall at 25.4 percent.

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