Martina Viarengo

Gender Differences in Professional Career Dynamics: New Evidence from a Global Law Firm

Martina Viarengo, The Graduate Institute, Geneva
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In her presentation Martina Viarengo examines gender gaps in career dynamics in the legal sector using rich panel data from one of the largest global law firms in the world. The law firm studied is representative of multinational law firms and operates in 23 countries. The sample includes countries at different stages of development.

The research she presents documents the cross-country variation in gender gaps and how these gaps have changed over time. It shows that while there is gender parity at the entry level in most countries, by the end of the period examined, there are persistent raw gender gaps at the top of the organisation across all countries. Significant heterogeneity can be observed among countries in terms of gender gaps in promotions and wages, but the gaps that exist appear to be declining over the period studied. It can also be observed that women are more likely to report exiting the firm for family and work-life balance reasons, while men report leaving for career advancement. Finally, the research shows that various measures of national institutions and culture appear to play a role in the differential labor-market outcomes of men and women.


About the speaker

Martina Viarengo is a tenured Associate Professor in the Department of International Economics at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies of Geneva. She is Faculty Associate at the Harvard University, Center for International Development, and Principal Investigator of the Swiss National Center of Competence in Research. Prior to joining the Graduate Institute's faculty, Professor Viarengo was an economist at the Centre for Economic Performance of the London School of Economics and a postdoctoral fellow at the Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.

Professor Viarengo is a specialist in public policy, labor economics and the economics of education. Her research focuses on labor markets, comparative education policy and international migration. She has examined education policy, gender gaps and labor market outcomes in the OECD and developing countries in trying to better understand how to reduce poverty and inequality.

In 2018 Professor Viarengo was awarded with the Eisenhower Fellowship. In 2013 she was selected as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. Dr. Viarengo was elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and she was named Newton International Fellow by the British Academy, Royal Society and Royal Academy of Engineering. She holds a PhD from the London School of Economics and a Master’s Degree from Northwestern University.


Within the Gender Seminar Series

The purpose of this research seminar is to offer a platform of exchange for students, doctoral students in particular, and researchers whose work includes a gender perspective. During this monthly series, researchers have the opportunity to discuss their work, meet peers from different disciplines at the Graduate Institute, as well as interact with other students, guest speakers and faculty members.


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