Women face “double standards” when working on Wall Street, according to a recent study by the American Accounting Association (AAA).
The AAA’s survey of 179 professional investors found that investment analysts who don’t aggressively push their recommendations are viewed more harshly if they are women, highlighting how gender bias is prevalent in the financial services industry.
Kristina Rennekamp, a corresponding author of the study and an associate professor of accounting at Cornell, said: “The research suggests that when a male analyst is not persistent, professional investors think his behavior is driven by the situation, and he must have a good reason for not persisting.
“But when a woman is not persistent, it is attributed to her being a woman, and she is perceived as not having the aggressive traits that are expected of a good analyst.”
Robert Bloomfield, co-author of the study, said: “One of the biggest challenges in managerial accounting is helping people evaluate their subordinates’ performance without bias.
“The take-away message is: get good data about employees’ performance over time, and use it. Otherwise, you are likely to remember only what surprised you, and rely on shortcuts like what category the person falls into.”