Closing the Gap: How Mayors’ Individual Attributes Affect Gender Wage Disparities in Local Bureaucracies



Gender inequities in public organizations manifest in various forms, including gaps in leadership roles and compensation. Increasing women’s representation in elected offices may reduce gender inequities in the public sector. This study examines whether women’s representation in local elected offices reduces gender wage disparities among men and women serving in Brazilian municipal executive bureaucracies. The findings suggest that municipalities with women mayors and larger proportions of women on the city council have smaller gender wage gaps in the municipal executive bureaucracy than those with men mayors and few women councilors. Furthermore, statistical models that account for diversity among men and women mayors in terms of their age, education, and partisanship suggest that even men mayors that likely hold progressive attitudes do not reduce gender disparities to the same degree as most women mayors. These findings underscore the importance of women’s representation for reducing gender inequities in the public sector.
Date made available2021
PublisherSAGE Journals

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