There are persisting wage inequalities between men and women. These gender differences in wages are also reflected in gender differences in the justice evaluation of earnings. Women – even though structurally disadvantaged – evaluate their own wages more positively (“contented female worker paradox”) and at the same time both men and women show a gender bias in experimental studies favoring higher just wages for men. Building on the idea that such gender biases are shaped by daily interactions within the gendered inequality structure at work, we study the role of female supervisors and work team composition in a longitudinal setting.
We use information from a factorial survey experiment fielded in the two waves of the LINOS panel study to measure respondent-specific gender biases. A fixed-effects design allows us to identify how supervisor changes and changes in work-team composition are related to within-person changes in gender bias. Our findings reveal: Changing from a male to a female supervisor reduces the gender bias for both male and female employees. Changes in the gender composition of one’s immediate work-team, however, do not affect employees’ gender biases.