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Ongoing project

Women, men and careers in Finance 2.0

Towards equal opportunities?

The project is part of CORE – Centre for Research on Gender Equality

Project period May 2021 - May 2022
Project nr. 10554
Project leader Sigtona Halrynjo
illustration

Project background - Further research

The project Women, men and careers in Finance 2.0 - Towards more equal opportunities? builds on the main findings from the first research project carried out by CORE at the Department of Social Research. The findings (based on 30 in-depth interviews) are published in the report "Women in Finance - Can't, Won't, Can't?" (see Halrynjo et al. 2018).

The previous study concludes that women are in demand in the industry and get opportunities, many both can and will succeed. Despite this, the survey identified key features of the industry that may help explain why women reach the top to a lesser extent and why the pay and bonus differences persist. In line with previous research on male-dominated environments, there are signs of continued favoritism of men and to some extent unclear conditions for salary development, bonuses and careers.

Women and men work in different positions

However, the study also found that internal gender segregation within the industry and within companies can be of great importance. Women and men work in various positions and business areas in finance. Men dominate in FrontEnd Finance and Large Customers, where customer and result responsibility is central, while women work to a greater extent in Back Office and personal customer with a lesser degree of customer and result responsibility. FrontEnd and especially Markets are organized according to a particularly competitive logic with individual competition for customers and areas of responsibility. This offers the potential to build a customer portfolio with large customers, which can potentially mean large assignments, but a corresponding opportunity for high earnings and bonuses - but also a risk of large losses.

Ground crew at home

To succeed in this competition, it is a great advantage to have ground crew at home (partner who takes the main responsibility at home), so that you can be available on their customers' terms. Those who win the competition for the best customers and the best deals also receive the highest salary, bonus and prestige. The dilemma is that women and men do not necessarily compete on equal terms. There are far fewer women than men who have ground crews at home (partner in a family-friendly job who takes the main responsibility at home). Thus, the industry risks not competing for the best, but for those who have the opportunity / are willing to sacrifice family life.

Parental leave

Parental leave is a particular challenge in FrontEnd and positions with an individual customer portfolio. When women become pregnant and go on leave, the norm is that they must give up the portfolio so that others can follow up on customers while they are away. It is not a matter of course that you get the portfolio back after leave.

In Women, Men and Careers in Finance 2.0

we explore the scope for change based on in-depth interviews with women and men with different backgrounds in finance.

  • Women in finance who now work in FrontEnd / Large customer
  • Women in finance who have experience from Front End, but who now work in other parts of the industry
  • Men in Finance (Front End)

Key questions for the study:

  • What does it take to get more women (to continue) to work in FrontEnd?
  • What are the limitations and what are the possibilities?
  • Advantages and disadvantages of individual vs. collective organization?
  • What does it take to organize FrontEnd more collectively (Joint responsibility for customers)? What are the limitations and what are the possibilities?
  • What is crucial to get a high salary / bonus and career opportunities today? Are there alternatives?
  • What does it take for the gender balance to improve? What are the limitations and what are the possibilities?
  • Is it possible to think differently about women's use of parental leave - before, during and after the leave?
  • Is it possible to think differently about men's use of parental leave - before, during and after the leave?
  • What does it take to get more women (to continue) to work in the Front End?
  • What are the limitations and what are the possibilities?
  • Advantages and disadvantages of individual vs. collective organization?
  • What does it take to organize Front End more collectively (shared responsibility for customers)? What are the limitations and what are the possibilities?
  • What is crucial for salary / bonus and career opportunities today? Are there alternatives?
  • What does it take for the gender balance to improve? What are the limitations and what are the possibilities?
  • Is it possible to think differently about women's and men's use of parental leave - before, during and after the leave?
  • What does it take for men to take more of the parental leave? What does it take for the conditions of competition to be more equal?

Participants

Sigtona Halrynjo PhD Senior Resarch Fellow +47 481 21 698 Send e-mail
Ingrid Høie Vadla M. Sc. Research Assistant +47 97416952 Send e-mail
Marte Mangset PhD Affiliated Researcher +47 991 65 659 Send e-mail
Runa Brandal Myklebust Ph.D. Senior Research Fellow +47 481 80 013 Send e-mail
Ines Wagner PhD Senior Research Fellow +47 907 82 170 Send e-mail
Tags: Gender Equality, Working Life
Published Oct. 29, 2021 12:08 PM - Last modified Oct. 29, 2021 12:19 PM