Selling Women Short: Gender and Money on Wall Street

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Princeton University Press, Oct 3, 2006 - Business & Economics - 269 pages
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Rocked by a flurry of high-profile sex discrimination lawsuits in the 1990s, Wall Street was supposed to have cleaned up its act. It hasn't. Selling Women Short is a powerful new indictment of how America's financial capital has swept enduring discriminatory practices under the rug.

Wall Street is supposed to be a citadel of pure economics, paying for performance and evaluating performance objectively. People with similar qualifications and performance should receive similar pay, regardless of gender. They don't. Comparing the experiences of men and women who began their careers on Wall Street in the late 1990s, Louise Roth finds not only that women earn an average of 29 percent less but also that they are shunted into less lucrative career paths, are not promoted, and are denied the best clients.

Selling Women Short reveals the subtle structural discrimination that occurs when the unconscious biases of managers, coworkers, and clients influence performance evaluations, work distribution, and pay. In their own words, Wall Street workers describe how factors such as the preference to associate with those of the same gender contribute to systematic inequality.

Revealing how the very systems that Wall Street established ostensibly to combat discrimination promote inequality, Selling Women Short closes with Roth's frank advice on how to tackle the problem, from introducing more tangible performance criteria to curbing gender-stereotypical client entertaining activities. Above all, firms could stop pretending that market forces lead to fair and unbiased outcomes. They don't.


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Selling women short: gender inequality on Wall Street

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Although the old cigarette commercial proclaimed, "You've come a long way, baby," this book reveals that we still have a long way to go regarding gender equality. Roth (sociology, Univ. of Arizona ... Read full review

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Shows the struggle of women at work, difficulties they faced.


The Playing Field Wall Street in the 1990s
Pay for Performance Wall Streets Bonus System
A Womans Worth Gender Differences in Compensation
Making the Team Managers Peers and Subordinates
Bringing Clients Back In The Impact of Client Relationships
Having It All? Workplace Culture and WorkFamily Conflict
Window Dressing Workplace Policies and Wall Street Culture
Beating the Odds The Most Successful Women
The Myth of Meritocracy Gender and PerformanceBased Pay
Quantitative Measures and Models
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Page 7 - ... submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual's employment, (2) submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment decisions affecting such individual, or (3) such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment.
Page 6 - Council contributed to a growing recognition that the 1963 Equal Pay Act and Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act did not raise women's wages because women and men so rarely held the same jobs.
Page x - I extend special thanks to the many people who took time out of their busy lives to let me interview them.

About the author (2006)

Louise Marie Roth is Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Arizona.

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