If there’s an institutional code of silence among financial advisers, it extends less protectively to women. In an industry where three out of four advisers and more than 80 percent of managers or owners are male, 44 percent of the misconduct charges brought against women came from within the firm, compared to just 28 percent of male misconduct charges, the study finds.
And once a charge is leveled, the male-dominated management ranks seem to follow a boys’ club ethos. “Firms with a greater percentage of male executives/owners at a given branch tend to punish female advisers more severely following misconduct and also tend to hire fewer female advisers with a past record of misconduct,” report the researchers.
Indeed, among firms with no women in management or ownership, female advisers with a misconduct demerit were 42 percent more likely to stop working at the firm, compared to male counterparts at the same branch who also had a misconduct record.
Only in companies where women made up at least a third of management roles was misconduct handled the same way for men and women.