'Selling Women Short: Gender and Money on Wall Street', by Louise Marie Roth is a powerful new indictment of how the very systems put into place to address discrimination have allowed more subtle, but no less insidious, forms of discrimination.
Rocked by a flurry of high-profile sex discrimination lawsuits in the 1990s, Wall Street was supposed to have cleaned up its act. It hasn't - or so says Louise Marie Roth in her new book, which is due for publication on November 15th.
'By resolving these cases out of court while denying the allegations, Wall Street firms have avoided public scrutiny of their corporate culture and how gender inequality persists within it', Roth says in the introduction to her book.
'And although the firms denied any wrongdoing - standard in such agreements, and therefore somewhat meaningless - the settlements serve as an indication that discrimination on Wall Street has shifted from blatant, socially unacceptable behaviour to an endemic firm and industry-wide discrimination against women and minorities'.
Using interviews with a representative group of men and women who received MBAs and began their careers on Wall Street during the boom of the late 1990s, Roth shows us how women continue to be shunted into less lucrative career paths, passed over for promotion, and denied the best clients. Roth places the blame squarely on the failure of 'objective' performance evaluations, the continued presence of gender-stereotypical client entertaining activities, and the unconscious biases of managers, co-workers and clients'.
Louise Marie Roth is Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Arizona.
'Selling Women Short' is a Princeton University Press publication.