Women in financial services still earn an average 9% less than men, but they’re more likely to perform well when they move on.
A report by a Harvard Business School professor highlighted in a Wall Street Journal blog suggests star female equity analysts who change firms are likely to maintain their star status in their new job; men aren’t.
What’s the source of female stars’ longevity? Boris Groysberg, the professor in question, says it might have something to do with the fact that women look for organizations that welcome them as individuals, while men just go for the money.
Alternatively, says Groysberg, it could be down to the fact that female bankers’ have problems finding internal mentors; they put the emphasis on building external relationships, making it easier to find a nice new home elsewhere when the time comes. By comparison, men tend to become embroiled in internal politicking and have fewer external options.
How true is all this? Not very, according to one London equities headhunter. “People who move usually have two agendas,” says Jonathan Evans of Sammons Associates. “One is financial, and one is extra recognition. I don’t usually see people move, whatever their gender, unless there’s an element of both.”
And if women really do move for more than money, it may simply be thanks to the fact that men have that all sewn up for them, says a female MD at one US firm: “Most women are in two-income households where their earnings aren’t critical. They have the luxury of looking at other factors as well.”