Catalyst for Women in Financial Services

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The Catalyst for Women in Financial Services

May 9, 2012

University of the Incarnate Word

Table of Contents

Executive Summary……………………………………………………..__

Project Description………………………………………………………__

Literature Review………………………………………………………..__

Research Questions……………………………………………………..__

Methodology….………………………………….………………………..__

Sample…………………………………………………………………………__

Main Findings….…………………………….….………………………..__

Expected Outcomes….………………………………………………….__

References……….………………………………………………………….__

Executive Summary

In 1996, Pamela K. Martens, Judith P. Mione, Roberta O’Brien, and 22 others filed a class action suit in U.S. District Court, New York, against Smith Barney and former Garden City, New York, office manager Nicholas Cuneo, citing a rash of complaints. These included “intimidation, retaliation, and humiliation,” as well as the lack of fairness in pay, denial of promotion, demotion due to maternity leave, unfairness in distribution of accounts, sexual harassment, and discharge without cause. In May of 1998, Judge Constance Baker-Motley approved a settlement, which had been accepted by 23 of the 25 plaintiffs. As part of the settlement in Martens, et. al. v. Smith Barney (S.D.N.Y., 96 Civ3779), Smith Barney was charged with paying for a study of the issues underlying the suit. The female judge ordered a research project done by “Catalyst or other similar firm,” one which understood the issues under study. Catalyst is the nonprofit research and advisory organization working to advance women in business, with office in New York and Toronto. The leading source of information on women in business for the past four decades, Catalyst has the knowledge and tools that help companies and women maximize their potential. Prior research led Catalyst to believe that a gender gap would exist between men and women on some fundamental issues. Men’s opinions were sought to give the women’s opinions a context. The study finds that both women and men express less satisfaction when asked about specific components of their work lives- including the fairness with which rewards such as promotions, assignments, and client contacts are allocated. Sixty-five percent of women report that women have to work harder than men to get some rewards. Only 13 percent of men agree. A full 51 percent of women report that women are paid less than men for doing similar work. Only 8 percent of men agree. Further, only 18 percent of women report that women’s opportunities for advancement have increased greatly over the past five years.

The study found that women and men in the financial services industry (76 percent and 88 percent respectively) report that their firms promote a work environment in which employees of different backgrounds and culture show respect for one another. This was encouraging but the answers that men and in their firms. The study provides a full set of recommendations for financial services firms on how to effect change for women in their workplaces, based on study findings women provided about the work environment indicated that such a culture has not taken root

Project Description

The ultimate goal of the study is to provide financial services firms with a solid foundation upon which to start making change for women.
The financial services industry bears the reputation of being a difficult one for women. For women starting in the financial services industry, it can be difficult to find other women they can to as role models, or to find peers that they can confide in. (Hudson) This study examines the attitudes, opinions, and experiences of women and men employed in the industry’s largest and most prestigious firms from the associate level to the most senior positions. Through surveys, focus groups, and interviews, Catalyst: • Assesses employee’s perceptions of their work environments • Examines why employees seek careers in...
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