Pay Gap Due To Women's Ineffective Use of Networks

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By Elissa Rose (Assistant Editor, Women 2.0)  

Marie Lalanne and Paul Seabright of the Toulouse School of Economics measured the effectiveness of executives' networks using a database of board members in Europe and America.

They found that executive directors with larger networks were paid 6% more, and the gap is larger for non-executives (14% more). They found the biggest difference between men and women, however, with women executives paid 17% less than male executives.

There are common explanations for this discrepancy. Sexism in the workplace, women who won't ask for raises, and career time lost to family life are among them, but Lalanne and Seabright say that it can be completely explained by how effectively executives are using their networks.

"Women seem more inclined to build and rely on only a few strong relationships," says Seabright, while men collect the weaker relationships with acquaintances into a network.

Because women don't work to stay visible to their acquaintances, they fall off the radar easily while their male peers stay visible, and so it is their male peers who get shortlisted for executive positions.

» Read more about this topic at The Economist. About the guest blogger: Elissa Rose is Assistant Editor of Women 2.0. She co-founded Quillpill in 2008, a mobile story-writing platform that was written up in TechCrunch, Communication Arts and The New Yorker. She has worked as a content creator for virtual worlds, and as an Art Director for mobile gaming. She is the mother of an inquisitive six-year-old boy and lives in Oakland, CA. Elissa studied Philosophy and Physics at the University of Alabama. Follow her on Twitter at @elissarose.