Will I Stay or Will I Go? How Gender and Race Affect Turnover at ‘Up-or-Out’ Organizations

 
 
Gender and racial inequalities continue to persist at "up-or-out" knowledge organizations, making it difficult for women and minorities to advance to senior levels, Kathleen McGinn says.
 
 
Date of Event: May 10, 2010
Speakers: Kathleen McGinn

Gender and racial inequalities continue to persist at "up-or- out" knowledge organizations such as law firms, making it difficult for women and minorities to advance to senior levels. These inequalities reflect the fact that female and minority junior professionals don't see senior professionals in their organization who look like them. To want to stay at a firm, women and minorities need to see other women and minorities in senior positions.

However, ''peer effects'' have the opposite result. When women and minorities have a higher proportion of peers who are similar to them in terms of gender and race, it actually increases their likelihood of exiting an organization.

Bringing about the changes that are necessary to increase retention of women and minorities requires that firms and their leaders carefully examine how their practices and policies affect social cohesion and social comparison.

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