This 2 March 2015 article in The Upshot section of the New York Times by Justin Wolfers shows just how much women are outnumbered by men in many important decision-making roles in the US.

The article introduces the Glass Ceiling index as a measure of the under-representation of women in decision-making roles. The index is defined as the ratio of the number of men named James (Jim), Robert (Bob), John, or William (Bill) in these roles to the number of women in similar roles.

CEOs of large firms have a glass ceiling index score of 4.0.  If Hilary Clinton were to be elected US President, the glass ceiling index for US Presidents would be 15.0.  Republicans in the US Senate have an index of 2.17, while Democrats in the US Senate have an index of 0.3.  The US Supreme court has an index of 0.33.

Extending the study to academia, and looking at Economics departments at Chicago, Harvard, MIT, Princeton, Stanford and Yale, full professors at the economics departments of these institutions have a glass ceiling index of 1.12.  The index remains unmoved even when accounting for the international nature of faculty membership by considering also Jaimes, Robertos, Juans, and Willems.

NYTimes: Fewer Women Run Top Companies than Men Named John

Leave a Reply