It’s been well-documented that women earn less than men for the same or equivalent job and are less likely to be promoted than their male counterparts. Now a study released by the National Bureau of Economic Research has unearthed what they call a “new type of discrimination” in the financial services industry: discrimination in job termination.
They found that even though female financial advisors account for just 3% of incidents of misconduct as opposed to 9% for men — and the misconduct by women costs firms 20% less than misconduct by men, who are more also likely to be repeat offenders — female advisors were 50% more likely to lose their jobs and 30% less likely to find a new one in the industry within one year after their firing.
The study, titled “When Harry Fired Sally: The Double Standard in Punishing Misconduct,” also found that female advisors who had transgressed were 67% less likely to be promoted compared with just 19% of men found guilty of recent misconduct.
“The financial industry is willing to give male advisors a second chance, while female advisors are likely to be cast from the industry,” the study concludes. It was conducted by researchers from Stanford University, the University of Chicago and Unviersity of Minnesota and released by NBER.
Even before the firings, women advisors are subjected to “relatively more complaints” than their male counterparts, according to the report.
Fifteen percent of the male advisors and 8% of the female advisors had disclosures on their records, which can be complaints by investors or notices of suspensions or terminations.
The study said its results suggest that the different, more severe treatment of women compared to men following misconduct “are driven by the gender composition of firm executives…. Male executives seem to be more forgiving of misconduct by men than women.”