Another study looking at why women are so scarce on Wall Street has found some interesting (and surprising) results.
Entitled Gender and Job Performance: Evidence from Wall Street, the study, by a trio of professors from Goizueta Business School at Emory University, examines the gender composition and job performance of sell-side analysts at investment banks and brokerages with an eye to determining whether firms systematically discriminate or attempt to promote gender balance through affirmative action.
First, the not-so-surprising finding: In a sample of 7,900 investment bank security analysts, women accounted for a meager 15.6 percent. The surprising part? The study found women analysts on average cover one less company than men (9 vs. 10), and their earnings forecasts tended to be less accurate than those of their male counterparts. The margin of difference was “roughly equivalent to the effect of four years of experience,” says the report. Despite that, women were more likely to be designated as All-Stars by Institutional Investor magazine, a fact the authors say “suggests they may perform better at nonquantifiable aspects of the job, such as client service.”
The report concludes: “Taken together, our analysis of job performance supports the view that the low representation of women on Wall Street reflects differences in preferences or family considerations rather than discrimination by investment banks.”
Additionally, “neither gender-based discrimination or nor affirmative action have a material impact on the quality of women analysts employed by brokerage firms.”