Gender and Managerial Job Mobility: Career Prospects for Executives Displaced by Acquisitions

Xiaohu Guo, Vishal K Gupta, Sandra Mortal, and Vikram Nanda

We investigate how men and women fare in the managerial labor market in the plausibly exogenous circumstance of their firms being acquired, when most target-firm managers (about 90%) are displaced. These career disruptions result in a larger drop in rank and compensation for female managers, despite similar job-search attributes. Gender differences are mitigated when hiring firms have more women in upper-echelon positions. Rich managerial experience and external board service also reduce gender related differences. Overall, results point to a (implicit) “gender-penalty” in terms of managerial job mobility, but also indicate contexts in which penalty is alleviated, and even reversed.