Yale-Columbia study finds women investment pros face discrimination ​

Women had to be stellar performers to garner the same attention from investors as so-so men

Oct 24, 2017 @ 4:59 pm

By InvestmentNews

There's only one thing keeping women investment professionals from being judged equally with men: a man's name.

"We found that financial professionals are more likely to pay attention to investment recommendations when they think that the person offering the recommendation is a man," said Tristan Botelho, assistant professor of organizational behavior at the Yale School of Management and co-author of a study conducted with the Columbia Business School.

The study, published in Administrative Science Quarterly, found that gender bias exists even in an industry where individuals and firms are extremely performance-minded.

Prof. Botelho and co-author Mabel Abraham, assistant professor of management at the Columbia Business School, collected data from a private online platform where investment professionals share recommendations to buy or sell a given stock. They examined 3,520 recommendations by 1,550 individuals from 2008 through 2013. The platform does not explicitly identify recommenders by gender, but one could infer from first names whether a recommender was likely to be a man or a woman, according to a release about the study from Yale University.

The web platform provided a two-stage evaluation process. In the first stage, users clicked on recommendations they were interested in learning more about. In the second, they evaluated the recommendation, rating it on a five-point scale and leaving comments.

The researchers found that recommendations submitted by people with typically female names, like Mary, received 25% fewer clicks than those submitted by individuals with typically male names, like Matthew. Recommendations from investment professionals with female names had to be high-performing in order to garner the same number of clicks as an average-performing recommendation from somebody with a typically male name.

The study also showed that self-disclosed men in their sample who had female-sounding names received fewer clicks than individuals with traditional male names.

0
Comments

What do you think?

View comments

Recommended for you

Featured video

Events

Women in leadership: Overcoming obstacles on the way to sucess

Clara Shih of Hearsay has overcome every challenge on her way to overwhelming success in fintech. How can you follow her lessons in leadership to accomplish more.

Latest news & opinion

Senate committee approves tax plan but full passage not assured

Several Republican senators expressed reservations about the bill, and the GOP cannot afford too many defections.

House passes tax bill, focus turns to Senate

Tax reform legislation expected to have more of a challenge in upper chamber.

SEC enforcement of advisers drops in Trump era

The agency pursued 82 cases against advisers and firms in fiscal year 2017, down from 98 the previous year.

PIABA accuses Finra of conflicts of interest

Public Investors Arbitration Bar Association report slams self-regulator over its picks for board of governors.

Betterment launches 'free' charitable-giving platform

Robo-software provider lets investors donate directly from their accounts, and will not charge charities with less than $1 million on the platform.

X

Subscribe and Save 60%

Premium Access
Print + Digital

Learn more
Subscribe to Print