As It Turns Out, Being A Woman On Wall Street Still Kind Of Sucks

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Compensation on Wall Street is rarely based solely on how much money one individual brings in. Wall Street types work in teams; being on a profitable team will earn you a big bonus. Unfortunately, teams in her survey rarely shared, say, compatible areas of expertise. Instead, they tended to form around shared social characteristics—like all being guys from the south who played sports and enjoyed strip clubs in their spare time. Women reported being systematically pushed toward more "female-friendly" teams and areas of their firms. These areas, like equity research and public finance, tended to feature lower compensation. Perhaps that's because they didn't generate as much fee revenue from clients, perhaps it's because they were dominated by women, or perhaps it is because these areas lack social capital, ties to the firm higher-ups. Regardless, such assignments lowered women's compensation.
Firms also systematically assigned women to work with women-owned business clients. This makes perfect sense (minority Wall Street workers also reported being assigned to minority-owned business clients; higher-ups assumed this would make the clients feel more comfortable). However, since women-owned and minority-owned businesses tend to be less capitalized than other businesses, these clients were less lucrative, which led to lower bonuses. In addition, [Author of What Are Women Worth Louise Marie] Roth reports, much of the average Wall Street bonus is determined by "360 degree" feedback from co-workers. Roth found that, systematically, people gave higher performance reviews to people who looked like them. Since men continued to dominate Wall Street through the 1990's, men received better reviews.
What Are Women Worth [The American]

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