A new study called “Gender and Connections Among Wall Street Analysts” shows yet another way that women have a tougher time in the workforce. Researchers from Insead studied a group of male and female Wall Street analysts who were equally well-connected to corporate boards via alumni ties to see whether those ties affected the analysts’ job performance and career outcomes. In an unsurprising, but frankly exhausting, result, it turns out that men are perceived to be better analysts because of their connections. Yale pins and Harvard ties, FTW!
Alumni ties benefit men two to three times as much as women, basically proving that the old boys’ network is a real thing. Those same connections formed in their college’s ivied halls and crew regattas also contribute to analysts’ likelihood of being voted by institutional investors as “star” analysts, which worked as a substitute for performance for men, but merely a complement to performance for women. It’s unclear whether this difference stems from men being willing to work their networks in steam rooms and cigar bars (based on Wolf of Wall Street and Boiler Room), while women stay in the office to work or if it’s just good old-fashioned, stereotypical sexism.