Women in Finance Are Reprimanded More Harshly than Men


A new report by business professors from the University of Chicago, Stanford, and the University of Minnesota reveals that female financial advisors are punished more strongly than men for engaging in misconduct. Following an occurrence of misconduct, women are 20 percent more likely to lose their jobs and 30 percent less likely to secure new jobs relative to male advisors.

When compared to women, male advisors are “three times as likely to engage in misconduct, are twice as likely to be repeat offenders, and engage in misconduct that is 20% costlier,” according to the report. The findings also confirm that productivity is not the reason for the difference in reprimands.

Researchers found supporting evidence for what they call “taste-based discrimination,” which describes the fact that a disproportionate number of misconduct complaints against women is originated by their firms, not regulators or clients.

Furthermore, firms with a higher share of male executives and owners penalize female advisors more rigorously following a misconduct complaint and generally hire fewer females with instances of misconduct on their records.

Imagine knowing that you are treated differently than your colleagues at our company, that you could be terminated for something they wouldn’t be, and that you’d have a much more difficult task in regaining employment if you are let go. This gender inequality does not support or empower women in the workplace; it contributes to a lack of confidence and can even discourage hopeful professionals.

The odds against women are formidable. The wage gap, a known disparity, affects women throughout their career and progress towards eliminating it is slow. Recent studies also show that in regards to raises, women are four times less likely to ask than men, usually request 30 percent less, and are viewed more negatively when asking.

These are just some of the obstacles standing in the way of gender equality. The work towards eradicating these imbalances must continue, and we must empower women to face these challenges head on and thrive in the workplace by recognizing their value.