A study shows that shortly after a male CEO has a daughter, women’s wages rose relative to men’s, but not the birth of a son, reports Fast Company.

In a statement to Fast Company, management psychologist Gail Golden says dads with daughters are simply more aware of the obstacles faced by women in the workplace. While having a child is a transformative experience for both male and female parents, she says fathers tend to become more protective of daughters. “He wants all the opportunities to be there for her. As she begins to experience some of the barriers that girls and women still do experience, it can be an awareness-creating experience for the father who has never really thought about this before,” she says. “It’s not just abstract statistics about salaries of women versus men, it’s about his daughter not being paid fairly for the work she’s doing.”

The researchers concluded male CEOs were more likely to envision their educated female employees as though they were their own daughters, who would most likely have more formal education. “Our results suggest that the first daughter ‘flips a switch’ in the mind of a male CEO, causing him to attend more to equity in gender-related wage policies,” the authors wrote.


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