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Female Stock Analysts Compete In Beauty Pageant-esque Ranking System

November 1st, 2019 Victoria Breese

Institutional Investor’s All-America Research Team ranks stock analysts annually. Many dismiss the ranking system as a popularity contest, but it has been known to make or break careers on Wall Street. 4,000 investment professionals are asked each year to rank their favorite equity analysts and research providers on Wall Street. A recent study analyzed whether there was gender bias and whether analysts were rewarded or penalized for their good looks. The findings reveal a pronounced gender bias based on beauty stereotyping disparities. 

Study On Gender Bias In Wall Street Ranking

Between 2009 and 2018, female analysts never accounted for more than 13 percent of first-, second-, and third-ranked analysts. This particular disparity reflects the makeup of the industry at large, with men far outnumbering women. In fact, researchers found that women were more likely to be named all-star analysts than men, even controlling for experience and stock-picking skill. However, the study did find that women were more likely to be judged on their looks than the men. However, unlike an actual beauty contest, female analysts were penalized for their attractiveness, whereas physical appearance had no impact on the ranking of male analysts. Women who were in the top decile of facial attractiveness did not benefit from the 1.5 percent probability boost that other women had in being ranked. An author of the study, Hai Lu, said “The financial industry is so competitive, that if you have talent you should be rewarded . . . but stereotypes and bias exist in our society regardless of how competitive the industry is.”

Gender Discrimination In The Workplace

This study’s findings suggest biases that can translate into illegal discrimination. About four-in-ten employed women (42%) in the United States say that they have faced gender discrimination at work. This form of discrimination occurs when an employer treats an applicant or employee unfavorably on the basis of that person’s sex. Gender discrimination is illegal regarding any aspect of employment, including hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, promotions, training, and more. The gender discrimination that women face includes different subsets, such as sexual harassment and pregnancy discrimination. The Supreme Court is currently considering whether to also include transgender discrimination as an element of sex discrimination. If you think you have experienced illegal discrimination at work, you should speak to an experienced employment attorney to learn about your rights and protections under the law. 

Seek Legal Assistance Today

If you have experienced gender discrimination at work, seek legal assistance today. The Working Solutions Law Firm, located in New York City, can assist you. Contact us today at (646) 430-7930 to schedule a free case evaluation and receive experienced legal counsel.