Carnegie Mellon University
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Essays on Gender Differences in Sponsorship and Hiring Decisions

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posted on 2021-11-05, 16:52 authored by Elizabeth Lauren CampbellElizabeth Lauren Campbell
Despite considerable progress toward equality in society, gender differences persist in career trajectories. Women ascend organizational hierarchies at slower rates and remain underrepresented in toptier leadership positions and elite occupations, compared to men (e.g., Catalyst, 2020; Fernandez-Mateo & King, 2011; Petersen & Morgan, 1995). In effort to understand how gender inequity in career advancement is created and reproduced, this dissertation examines evaluations and decision-making processes in hiring and sponsorship. Sponsorship is a form of career support in which high-status and influential senior colleagues (i.e., sponsors) leverage their social capital to secure career opportunities that facilitate the upward mobility of junior employees. Examples include job referrals, recommendations, advocacy for promotions, and informal support like strategic introductions or discussing junior employees’ achievements to other influential members of the firm (Ibarra et al., 2010). These processes are tested using quantitative and qualitative methodologies across three independent research papers.




Degree Type

  • Dissertation


  • Tepper School of Business

Degree Name

  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Oliver Hahl

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