Ask To See Your Boss’s Family Portrait: Male CEOs With Daughters Increase Employees’ Salaries
12:30 pm, January 9th | by Colette McIntyre
Business ladies: If your company’s male chief executive is about to become a father for the first time, you should hope that he has a daughter. You’ll benefit immensely from it!
According to research presented at the American Economic Association’s annual meeting in San Diego this weekend, the gender of a male CEO’s first child affects the salary of his employees. The study from Aalborg University economics professor Michael Dahl, University of Maryland Smith School of Business professor Cristian Dezso and Columbia Business School professor David Gaddis Ross, looked at about 1600 births at 10,655 private companies in Denmark between 1996 and 2006. Researchers only took into account male CEOs as, at the time, the female CEO pool was too small to study.
The researchers’ conclusions are interesting — on average, employees’ wages rise after the delivery of a firstborn daughter. Female employees benefit the most from a daughter’s birth, their salary growing by 1.1 percent in comparison to male employees’ 0.6 percent increase. In fact, female employees reap the most rewards when a male CEO has children, period: if the firstborn is a son, female employees still see a boost, their salaries rising about 0.8 percent; if the male executive has a son that isn’t his firstborn, female employees’ salaries shrink only 0.2 percent, a softer blow than the 0.5 percent drop for male workers.
Overall, female employees benefit more from any birth, regardless of gender or birth order. The study speculates that male executives become more empathetic when they have daughters and think more about their workers’ living standards. Previous research found that men respect their wives more after childbirth and the study suggests that male CEOs then project this newfound esteem onto their female employees.
While it’s a bit of a bummer that it takes childbirth for male CEOs to respect their female employees, with the pay gap being what it is — a recent study by the American Association of University Women found that a college-educated woman will earn, on average, $1.2 million less than a man with an equal level of education — we’ll take what we can get.