This blog focuses on the issue of gender inequality in career promotion, mainly based on the following reasons. In today’s highly organized society, work organization is the actual place where resource allocation and benefit distribution occur, and job position is one of the most important job characteristics of employees (Pekkarinen and Vartiainen, 2006). It is closely related to employee rights and clear job responsibilities. To a considerable extent, the level of employment determines the pros and cons of employment conditions and labor remuneration. In this sense, gender inequality in work arrangements and job promotion is one of the core mechanisms for maintaining labor market inequality, and thus constitutes an important mechanism for reproducing gender inequality (Bertrand and Hallock, 2001).


This blog takes China as an example, citing research by scholar Qin (2014). Qin (2014) used the 2006 China Comprehensive Social Survey data to explore the gender inequality of promotion opportunities within work organizations, and examined this gender inequality from multiple dimensions such as human capital, redistribution and the market, management position, and occupational gender structure.


From the perspective of human capital, the study found that women are at an overall disadvantage in terms of opportunities for advancement in the workplace. Whether it is the promotion of positions and titles, salary level promotion in the past three years, recent opportunities for promotion and promotion, or opportunities for promotion and promotion in another unit, women are at a significant disadvantage. And in terms of promotion opportunities, the gap between the two shows a high degree of consistency. Even when many other variables are controlled, women’s disadvantages relative to men are still obvious, which shows that there is obvious gender inequality in the promotion and upward mobility of the workplace (Qin, 2014).


From the perspective of the relationship between marketization and gender inequality, the research results show that the gender difference in career promotion is smaller in an organization within the system with a stronger redistribution than in a market organization outside the system. Within the system, women may benefit more from national policy-level protective measures that are conducive to gender equality. In a more free, open and competitive market environment, women’s disadvantages in workplace competition are becoming more apparent. To a certain extent, it has exacerbated rather than reduced gender inequality (Qin, 2014).


The research has verified the existence of the glass ceiling effect in the female workplace to a certain extent, and the disadvantages of women are more prominent in the promotion of the senior organization. This is the result of controlling factors such as age, family and marital status, human capital, organizational differences (scale, nature of ownership), occupational category and other factors, indicating that for women in higher positions, gender discrimination or other intangible factors constitute obstacles to further promotion (Qin, 2014).


Overall, gender inequality in work arrangements and promotion flows is an important driving mechanism for maintaining and reproducing gender inequality in the labor market, which should arouse more in-depth discussions (Qin, 2014).


Written by Zhuyuan Gan. 



Bertrand, M., & Hallock, K. F. (2001). The gender gap in top corporate jobs. Industrial & Labor Relations Review, 55(1), pp.3-21.

Pekkarinen, T., & Vartiainen, J., (2006). Gender Differences in Promotion on a Job Ladder: Evidence from Finnish Metalworkers. Industrial & Labor Relations Review, 59(2), pp.285–301.

Qin, G.秦广强 (2014). Gender Inequality in Career Advancement: Analysis Based on CGSS 2006, Sociological Review, 社会学