Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Julio Garín

Terms of Use & License Information

Terms of Use for work posted in Scholarship@Claremont.

Rights Information

© 2021 Maya Ghosh


A significant body of philosophical, sociological, and economic literature has examined the relationship between race, gender, and other demographic factors in the workplace. Many academics find that diversity initiatives disproportionately aid white women in achieving upper-level management positions, as compared to their peers of color. However, workplace differences in compensation and performance between white female CEOs and women of color (WOC) CEOs is largely unanalyzed. Using salary as an indicator for compensation and firm gross profit as an indicator for performance, I empirically assess how women of color fare as CEOs compared to their white female counterparts.

I segment my analysis into two sections: compensation and performance. I find that being a WOC CEO is associated with a negative, insignificant effect on CEO salary. However, I find that serving as a female CEO in the Energy and Materials sectors is consistent with a positive, significant effect on CEO Salary. I find mixed results regarding the impact of WOC CEOs on firm gross profit across 2019 and 2020. In contrast, the evidence supports a positive, insignificant relationship between WOC CEOs and gross profit within the Health Care, Information Technology, and Consumer Discretionary sectors. This could be attributed to overrepresentation of WOC CEOs in underperforming industries. Finally, I find evidence which supports a positive, insignificant relationship between recency in hiring and firm performance. This may indicate that firms are not solely interested in virtue-signaling behaviors.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.