We examine gender differences in career progression and promotions using personnel data from the European Central Bank (ECB) during the period 2003–2017. A gender wage gap emerges within a few years of hiring, despite broadly similar entry conditions. We also find a gender promotion gap before 2010 when the ECB issued a public commitment to diversity. Following this change, the promotion gap disappears. Using data on promotion applications, we find a gender application bias, partly driven by preferences for competition. Following promotion, women perform better in terms of salary progression.

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