May 2014

IZA DP No. 8185: The Gender-Career Estimation Gap

published in: M. Connerley, J. Wu (eds.), The Handbook on Well-Being of Working Women, Springer 2016, pp. 429-448

The paper discusses gender differences with regard to the self- and reciprocal estimation of career expectations. Firstly, the theoretical background and the literature are identified. Within this frame, the instance of self-under-estimated career prospects of female workers and statistical discrimination in the labor market are described. Both aspects are jointly assessed as a self-fulfilling prophecy-phenomenon redounded to women's disadvantage on the labor market. Secondly, the empirical part analysis the respective self- and reciprocal estimation of female and male career prospects for public sector workers in Germany. The results display obvious discrepancies between self- and reciprocally estimated career expectations that constitute a gender-career estimation gap. As the German public sector contains specific devices to equalising career chances of male and female employees, the findings even underpin the insistency of under-estimated career prospects of female workers despite the existing public sector regime of equality. Finally, approaches of how to equalize male and female career chances are critically reviewed.