Cultural values and gender gap: a cross‐national analysis

Hamid Yeganeh (College of Business, Winona State University, Winona, Minnesota, USA)
Diane May (College of Business, Winona State University, Winona, Minnesota, USA)

Gender in Management

ISSN: 1754-2413

Publication date: 15 March 2011



The purpose of this paper is to empirically investigate the effects of cultural values on gender gap.


First, by relying on the extant literature, the concepts of cultural values and gender gap are framed and variables are defined. Then, the relationships among variables are hypothesized and the theoretical model is constructed. Finally, empirical tests are conducted, the results are analyzed, and theoretical/practical implications are discussed.


The results show that controlling for the effects of socio‐economic variables, culture still has important implications for gender gap. More specifically, it is found that conservatism value dimension is associated with higher levels of gender gap, but autonomy cultural dimension may lead to gender equality.

Research limitations/implications

This study is limited to three pairs of cultural values as proposed by Schwartz. Another major limitation of this study resides in the theoretical model and linear data analysis techniques used to investigate the relationship between culture and gender gap.

Practical implications

The findings of this study could have important practical implications in many areas of social sciences such as political science, management and organizational studies, education, international law, and human resource management.

Social implications

By considering the implications of cultural values, policy makers and business leaders may adopt effective strategies to promote gender equalities at the societal and organizational levels.


While many studies have focused on some narrow aspects such as gender‐based differences in labour, employment, remuneration, political representation, education, and leadership, in this study, the authors relied on a comprehensive conceptualization of the gender gap. Considering the reliability of data and the variety of countries/cultures included, the results seem very significant.



Yeganeh, H. and May, D. (2011), "Cultural values and gender gap: a cross‐national analysis", Gender in Management, Vol. 26 No. 2, pp. 106-121.

Download as .RIS



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Please note you might not have access to this content

You may be able to access this content by login via Shibboleth, Open Athens or with your Emerald account.
If you would like to contact us about accessing this content, click the button and fill out the form.
To rent this content from Deepdyve, please click the button.