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The Paradox of Diversity and Female Politicians’ Promotion in Bureaucracy(Online Seminar)
Abstract
The widely adopted diversity goals in workplace have facilitated women’s inroad into top positions. This study examines how the dominant group (men) complies and resists the diversity goals. We argue that although women with the same qualification may be preferred under the gender diversity goal, the dominant group resists by selecting qualified women candidates whom they perceive they have better control and are superior to in order to preserve power and privilege.
 
We test this “paradox of diversity” hypothesis in the context of China by examining 2,151 county party secretaries’ promotion from 2001 to 2013. Under the political mandate of appointing women to the leadership position, we find that equally performing woman secretaries are more likely to get promoted than men. However, women who are locally born and women who are younger, have lower educational level and slower advancement speed are further preferred. We find such paradoxical diversity is less prominent in regions with a more equal gender perception or a more open economy. Taken together, this study makes contributions to the diversity studies by showing how the dominant group complies the diversity goal on one dimension while resists along other dimensions, and we also contribute to the institutional studies by disclosing a new form of response to institutional pressures.