Pathways to Progress: Evaluating Gender Equality in Financial Services

Presenter: Amelie Desrosiers

Research Category:
Student Type: Undergraduate
PI: Olubunmi Faleye
Award Winner Category: Social Sciences, Business and Law

In the United States, women have not always shared equal rights with men. Since the formation of the National American Woman Suffrage Association, women have achieved the right to vote, secure political office, and have lobbied for fair working conditions through monumental legislation (including the Equal Pay Act, The Pregnancy Discrimination Act, and the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Restoration Act). Despite positive trends in achieving gender equality in the workplace, gender analyses of the labor market point to persisting inequality in the form of a gender wage gap and lack of female representation in executive positions. In recent years, debate in the intellectual community has surfaced surrounding the validity of such findings. While critics disagree on the widespread magnitude of such inequality, a consensus has formed that certain industries are more susceptible to poor inclusion and equal opportunity efforts. The present study is an analysis of existing research and theoretical contributions on gender inequality specifically in the Financial Services industry. Evidence from this review suggests that gender inequality in financial services has narrowed but persisted. Ultimately, the author found that the gender inequality problem’s origins are multi-faceted and therefore must be combatted through a combination of efforts. To ensure pathways to progress, companies within financial services must adapt policies to secure equal opportunities and commit to strategies to determine a healthy gender diversity quotient.