Interesting original research by Maria Droganova on the historical differences in pay in the US Federal Government (civilian) workforce and how it is impacted by the gender of leadership.

I found the significant impact of supervisor gender to be most interesting. From a manager/leader side it is a strong indicator that unconscious bias is real, and we must actively manage against it in how we manage. From the worker side, it might indicate that you should target having a same-gender manager to maximize rewards.

I find that in offices where all supervisors are men, male wages are on average 10.6% higher than female wages. In contrast, in offices where all supervisors are women, the wage gap in favor of men disappears and becomes 3.2% in favor of women due to a 7.1% increase in female wages and a 6.7% decline in male wages. Also, the gender of an executive (a higher level supervisor) has a lesser impact on wages than the gender of regular supervisors. However, the gender of an executive has a greater impact on wages of supervisors than on wages of non-supervisors, which is consistent with the theory of mentorship.

On a personal note, I’ve not found this to be my experience. Having had significant time under both male and female direct managers. My experience is just anecdotal and anecdotal doesn’t mean much, always look to the research.

This was another section I found interesting. It may have political ramifications in terms of the anger we see from certain demographics. If men are seeing more competition for promotion there may be a segment of us that are prone to backlash and anger over what everyone else would call progress:

I find that under female leadership, the female employees have higher propensity to be promoted, a higher starting position and a higher exiting position than under female leadership. For male employees, female leadership decreases their chances to be promoted and increases their chances to exit and have lower exiting positions.

Droganova, Maria, Women Working for Women: Career Advancement and the Gender Wage Gap in the U. S. Federal Government (November 30, 2017). Available at SSRN:

Also published on Medium.