Racial and gender trends and trajectories in access to managerial jobs

Safi Shams*, Donald Tomaskovic-Devey

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


The study of temporal dynamics is essential to the advance of social science. In the study of inequality, preliminary to explaining patterns in gaps between groups is the prior task of detecting those patterns. Developing a multiple latent trajectory strategy, this paper proposes an inductive approach to the detection of inequality trends. Investigating managerial representation for Black men, Black women, White women and White men in a very large panel sample of private sector workplaces, we show that trajectories of managerial representation for each status group are much more complex than the common deductive approach leads us to believe. In fact, the volatility and the multiplicity of trajectories is one of the markers of enduring disadvantage for African Americans. Further, we demonstrate that current organizational inequality explanations can be employed and improved within this inductive methodology. The findings underscore the importance of interaction and contingency in the production of inequalities, in agreement with relational approaches to organizational inequality.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)15-29
Number of pages15
JournalSocial Science Research
StatePublished - May 2019
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Elsevier Inc.


  • Gender
  • Inequality
  • Latent-trajectory
  • Management
  • Methodology
  • Organizations
  • Race


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