Information and Career Path Choice: Understanding Gender Differences in Advice Sought and Received

Publication Date


Grant Type

Early Career Research Award


Recent evidence suggests that occupations and firms are key determinants of earnings differentials among men and women (Blau and Kahn, 2017; Card, Cardoso, and Kline, 2016). Research is scant, however, on what drives gender differences in these labor market outcomes. In this project, we investigate why men and women sort into different occupations, firms, and jobs, by studying whether the access to and provision of information regarding career paths differs systematically by gender.

How and from whom do new labor market entrants seek advice regarding their career path decisions? Do the mentor-mentee relationships formed exacerbate or attenuate gender differences in information and expectations about potential jobs? We seek to study the supply of and demand for advice regarding career choices among college students. Specifically, we will explore whether advice seekers’ demographic characteristics (gender, race/ethnicity, first generation college student) alter their access to and the informational content of advice received. We will also estimate advice seekers’ willingness to pay for mentor demographic characteristics.

Grant Product

Informed Choices: Gender Gaps in Career Advice Upjohn Institute Working Paper No. 21-340, 2021

Informed Choices: Gender Gaps in Career Advice Upjohn Institute Policy and Research Brief No. 33, 2021

Gallen, Yana and Melanie Wasserman. 2021. "Informed Choices: Gender Gaps in Career Advice." Employment Research 28(3): 5-7.