Discussion paper

DP16002 Representation is Not Sufficient for Selecting Gender Diversity

Representation of women and minorities in a “selectorate” – the group that chooses an organization’s leaders – is a key mechanism for promoting diversity. We show that representation, on its own, is not sufficient for selecting gender diversity: a supportive organizational culture is also required. In the case of the Internet Engineering Task Force, a random increase in female representation in its selection committee caused an increase in female appointments only after cultural norms supporting diversity and inclusion became more salient.


Baron, J, B Ganglmair, N Persico, T Simcoe and E Tarantino (2021), ‘DP16002 Representation is Not Sufficient for Selecting Gender Diversity‘, CEPR Discussion Paper No. 16002. CEPR Press, Paris & London. https://cepr.org/publications/dp16002