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Women Are Almost 3 Times More Likely To Get Fired Than Men

October 26, 2010

Just leaving a job in general is more common among women than men, according to a study in Economic Inquiry, but what is even more troubling is that women are more likely to get fired than men, almost 3 times more likely:

The report found that 7.2 percent of women executives left their jobs, compared to 3.8 percent of men. Both the voluntary rates (4.3 percent versus 2.8 percent for men) and the involuntary rates (2.9 versus 0.9 percent) were higher for women executives.

While the study authors did note that it’s better for women to work with women, and women tended to leave smaller firms dominated by men, the discrepancy between firing rates for men and women demonstrates a troubling finding:

“We really had to dig deep to tease out any systematic patterns behind these departures,” Becker-Blease said. “We did find that women were slightly more likely to leave smaller firms, and firms with more male-dominated boards, but this was a small effect size.”

In addition, the authors found that companies with female executives pave the way for other females to rise to the top, but despite this, women CEOs are still uncommon. In fact, a 2009 report showed only 13 women CEOs among Fortune 500 companies.

“Women benefit from women in positions of leadership,” Becker-Blease said. “Our study contributes to the small body of work out there on women at the executive level. I think it is reasonably good news for women, in that we did not find evidence of discrimination at an obvious level, but the different rates of departure from the executive ranks is troubling.”

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