Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/120984
Authors: 
Goodall, Amanda H.
Osterloh, Margit
Year of Publication: 
2015
Series/Report no.: 
IZA Discussion Papers 9331
Abstract: 
The supply of women into senior management has changed little despite well-intentioned efforts. We argue that the biggest effect is from supply-side factors that inhibit females' decision to enter competitions: Women are under-confident about winning, men are over-confident; women are more risk averse than men in some settings; and, most importantly, women shy away from competition. In order to change the conditions under which this is the case, this paper proposes a radical idea. It is to use a particular form of random selection of candidates to increase the supply of women into management positions. We argue that selective randomness would encourage women to enter tournaments; offer women 'rejection insurance'; ensure equality over time; raise the standard of candidates; reduce homophily to improve diversity of people and ideas; and lessen 'the chosen one' factor. We also demonstrate, using Jensen's inequality from applied mathematics, that random selection can improve organizational efficiency.
Subjects: 
leadership
women
diversity
random selection
JEL: 
L2
M1
M5
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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