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Millennials and the gender wage gap: do millennial women face a glass ceiling?

Gustavo A. García (Department of Economics, Universidad EAFIT, Medellín, Colombia)
Diego René Gonzales-Miranda (Area of Organization, Direction and Strategy, Universidad EAFIT, Medellín, Colombia)
Óscar Gallo (Department of History, Universidad de Antioquia, Medellín, Colombia)
Juan Pablo Roman Calderon (Area of Organization, Direction and Strategy, Universidad EAFIT, Medellín, Colombia)

Employee Relations

ISSN: 0142-5455

Article publication date: 27 September 2022

Issue publication date: 1 February 2023

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Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to measure the gender wage gap among millennial workers in Colombia and determine if there is a marked wage difference between millennial women and men. Furthermore, this study analyzes whether millennial women face a glass ceiling, that is, whether there is a larger gender wage gap among workers earning relatively high wages.

Design/methodology/approach

The study data included a sample of 2,144 millennial workers employed in 11 organizations located in the five main cities of Colombia. Oaxaca–Blinder econometric methods of wage decomposition were used to calculate both raw and adjusted gender wage gaps. The latter results in estimating the gender wage gap while controlling for observable characteristics related to individual, family, and labor. In addition, wage decompositions by education levels were carried out to approximate the extent of the glass ceiling among young workers.

Findings

The results show that millennial workers in Colombia face gender inequality in the labor market and that professional millennial women experience a distinct glass ceiling. The adjusted gender wage gap is 9.5%, and this gap increases with education level, increasing to nearly 14% among college-educated workers.

Research limitations/implications

The empirical results are supported by a self-report survey of millennial workers. An important limitation is that the data include millennial workers employed in the formal sector and exclude the informal sector (activities not regulated or protected by the state), which represents an important part of the economy in developing countries.

Originality/value

This paper contributes to the empirical literature on gender wage inequality for younger workers. This paper is original in reviewing the gender pay gap in Colombia using a primary dataset. Most of the work in this area has been done in developed countries and this research adds to the findings that have had focused on those nations.

Keywords

Citation

García, G.A., Gonzales-Miranda, D.R., Gallo, Ó. and Roman Calderon, J.P. (2023), "Millennials and the gender wage gap: do millennial women face a glass ceiling?", Employee Relations, Vol. 45 No. 2, pp. 366-386. https://doi.org/10.1108/ER-05-2021-0179

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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