Gendered Parenthood Gaps in Employer-Provided Training: The Role of Immediate Supervisors

Lynn Prince Cooke, Eileen Peters, Silvia Melzer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Powerful male actors are argued to secure workplace resources for themselves and other in-group members, contributing to workplace inequalities. We contend that, like gender, parenthood similarity in supervisor-supervisee dyads also provokes group processes, and that parenthood is superordinate to childlessness. Critically, we hypothesize how shared supervisor-supervisee parental status at its intersection with gender might intensify or offset (dis)advantage in access to workplace training. Hypotheses are tested with unique linked German employer-employee data and estimating gender-parental training differences using workplace fixed-effects regressions. Results show that while on average women train less than men and parents train more than childless workers, these effects can alter at the intersection with supervisors’ group memberships. Dyad “double jeopardy” is evident in that childless women face the greatest training disadvantages when reporting to childless female supervisors. Yet whether sharing one superordinate status offsets disadvantage of a subordinate group membership occurs only for shared parenthood. Childless men gain no advantage when reporting to a male supervisor, whereas sharing parenthood with immediate supervisors countervails disadvantage of being female for mother supervisees. We conclude that only by considering social relations at the intersection of supervisor-supervisees’ multiple categorical memberships might we better understand the relational processes sustaining or reducing workplace inequalities.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Sociological Review
Publication statusAcceptance date - 7 Nov 2022

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