Chart of the Day: Women in Finance Are Treated Really Badly

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In a new study, three NBER researchers looked at the results of misconduct in the financial industry. Their conclusions were stark:

We document large and pervasive differences in the treatment of male and female advisers. Female financial advisers face more severe consequences at both the firm and industry level for engaging in misconduct relative to male advisers. While male advisers are more than two times as likely to engage in misconduct, female advisers are 20% more likely to be fired for engaging in misconduct. Female advisers are also 30% less likely to find new employment and face longer unemployment spells as a result of misconduct.

Firms may find it optimal to punish women more severely if female advisers engage in more costly misconduct or if female employees are less costly to replace. The empirical evidence suggests the exact opposite. Male advisers tend to engage in more costly misconduct and male advisers are twice as likely to be repeat offenders.

Here’s a remarkable chart from their paper about how often financial advisors get fired and stay fired:

It’s not just that women don’t survive as long as men even though they appear to be equally productive. Women with no misconduct don’t survive as long as men with misconduct on their record. And that’s despite the fact that men engage in far more misconduct than women and are far more likely to be repeat offenders:

Finance is still a testosterone-fueled industry. Maybe it would be a safer one if we changed that.

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THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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