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The sociology of compensation inequality in upper‐echelon positions: evidence from Australia

Maryam Safari, Jacqueline Birt and Yi Xiang

Accounting and Finance, 2022, vol. 62, issue 2, 2615-2649

Abstract: This paper explores the sociology of gender pay equality in leadership positions. Using a large compensation dataset, we examine the impact of gender pay inequality among directors and executives on firm performance. Based on a triangulation research design, quantitative outcomes are supplemented with semi‐structured interviews to study compensation expectations, negotiation skills and gender differences in teamwork on boards of directors. The findings show that remuneration transparency is becoming the norm. However, compensation inequalities still exist and undermine performance. The results indicate that diversity targets or specific policies regarding equality and equity of opportunity are insufficient if they are not supported by a cultural understanding and the application of equitable policies and procedures throughout the organisation.

Date: 2022
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