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Climbing the Job Ladder: New Evidence of Gender Inequity




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    •  The authors’ affiliations are Monash University, Centre for Health Economics, Level 2, Building 75, Clayton, Vic. 3800, Australia. E-mail:; +61 3 99058155; School of Economics, Finance and Marketing, RMIT University, School of Economics, Finance and Marketing. Level 12, 239 Bourke Street, Vic. 3000, Australia. E-mail:; +61 3 99255861. This study uses unit record data from the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) Survey. The HILDA Project was initiated and is funded by the Australian Government Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA) and is managed by the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research (Melbourne Institute). The findings and views reported in this study, however, are those of the authors and should not be attributed to either FaHCSIA or the Melbourne Institute.


An explanation for the gender wage gap is that women are less able or less willing to “climb the job ladder.” However, the empirical evidence on gender differences in job mobility has been mixed. Focusing on a subsample of younger, university-educated workers from an Australian longitudinal survey, we find strong evidence that the dynamics of promotions and employer changes worsen women’s labor market position.