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Wealth Management Ranks Worst for Sexual Harassment

March 14, 2018

Sexual harassment in wealth management is more widespread than in several other industries, including banking, healthcare and consulting, according to a recent survey by SourceMedia, publisher of Financial Planning.

Twenty-two percent of respondents say sexual harassment has a high prevalence in wealth management, compared to 15% who say the same for insurance, 14% for higher education, 13% for consulting and professional services and 13% for banking, according to the survey of more than 3,000 professionals, which also included those who worked in accounting, human resources and IT, conducted by SourceMedia.

Among women in wealth management, a third say sexual misconduct has a high prevalence, 22% say it's moderate and 45% say it's low, the survey found, according to Financial Planning.

Sexual misconduct in wealth management identified by the women surveyed, who requested anonymity, included belittling comments, sexual advances and inappropriate touching, the publication writes. Indifference from managers, meanwhile, meant that sexual harassment extended to client and advisor interactions, the survey found, according to Financial Planning. The problem is much more apparent to women than men: while 59% of women surveyed say they’ve been privy to inappropriate questions, innuendo or jokes, only 39% of the men surveyed say they witnessed such behavior, according to the survey.

And while 49% of women in wealth management are aware of others subjected to unwelcome sexual conduct, only 35% of men are, SourceMedia found, according to the publication.

To address sexual misconduct, most women advisors surveyed (73%) believe there’s a need to change workplace culture, followed by better human resources procedures, cited by 69% of the women surveyed as the aspect that needs changing, SourceMedia found.

For male advisors, most (55%) cited upper management commitment as the area where change is most needed — although 66% of women pointed to that as well, Financial Planning writes.

By Alex Padalka
  • To read the Source Media article cited in this story, click here.