The old boys’ club is still holding women back, according to a new study.
But the culprit behind 38 percent of today’s gender pay gap isn’t straight-out sexism. It is, rather, such simple bromance pursuits as sharing a smoke and chatting about sports.
“When male employees are assigned to male managers, they are promoted faster in the following years than they would have been if they were assigned to female managers,” according to the study by Harvard University and the University of California, Los Angeles.
“Female employees, on the contrary, have the same career progression regardless of the manager’s gender.”
This so-called male-to-male advantage is even more evident when a male employee switches from a female manager to a male manager.
That employee gets promoted faster and, on average, earns 13 percent more than a male counterpart assigned to another female manager.
“These differences in career progression cannot be explained by differences in effort or output,” the study found.
In fact, should both males be smokers, a new employee-manager relationship produces even greater results.
“When male employees who smoke switch to male managers who smoke, they spend more of their breaks with their managers and are promoted faster in the following years,” according to the study.
For their sample, the study’s researchers collected data from a large commercial bank in Asia with a work force similar to those at US institutions.
They discovered the male-to-male advantage develops over the course of two years and thrives most when male employees and their male managers work in close proximity.
“Male employees may schmooze with their managers in ways that female employees cannot,” the study said. And that alone, it concludes, calls for ways to reduce the role of bromance in promotion decisions.