Doctoral thesis

Gender inequality in knowledge-based organizations : Evidence from R&D scientists in STEM fields 1985 – 2010


185 p

Thèse de doctorat: Università della Svizzera italiana, 2020

English This dissertation examines how intra-organizational networks interact with individual and macro-level characteristics to affect employees’ innovativeness and access to social capital in knowledge-based organizations. Primarily, my dissertation focuses on how such intra- organizational network dynamics limit or perpetuate gender inequality in the workplace. For example, I demonstrate that to enter the collaboration network of a high-status colleague, men and women need to follow different strategies. I also show that three employees’ characteristics, namely gender, tenure, and position in the intra-organizational network, explain why some individuals are more innovative than others in gender-diverse organizations. Besides demonstrating how individuals’ networks interact with individuals’ characteristics to explain gender disparities in the workplace, I explore how regional-level factors affect differences between men and women in organizations. In particular, I show that the level of gender bias in the region in which an organization is located affects gender performance gaps within organizations in that region. Therefore, I provide new insights into the mechanisms by which gender inequality persists in knowledge-intensive organizations, and it suggests possible avenues to overcome such gender disparities.
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