Does the gender of your co-worker matter? Evidence from call centres in India

Policy brief Firms

  • Several theories suggest that gender integration in the workplace may have negative effects in gender-segregated societies. This study presents results from a randomised controlled trial conducted in India on the effect of gender integration on employee productivity.
  • The study was implemented in call centres located in five Indian cities. A total of 765 employees were randomised to either mixed-gender teams (30-50% female peers) or control groups of same-gender teams.
  • When employees are assigned to a mixed-gender team, the study finds precisely estimated zero effects on both productivity (intensive margin) and share of days worked during the study period (extensive margin).
  • There is an overall increase in peer monitoring and team support for women assigned to mixed-gender teams relative to the control team. For male employees, the study finds that conditional on being assigned to mixed-gender teams, men with progressive gender attitudes have higher productivity than men with regressive gender attitudes.
  • There is an overall increase in knowledge sharing, dating, and comfort with the opposite gender for male employees in mixed-gender teams, relative to all male teams.