By Stephen Shepherd, Marketing –
First off, this article is not about feminism. That being said, it’s clear that the changing societal role of women has dramatically changed how the world does business, with women comprising at least 50 percent of the U.S. labor force.
Promoting women’s rights and gender equality is a noble priority for many governments and companies, but it’s commonly accompanied with varying notions about women rising up to be on par with men.
When it comes to involvement in corporate crime, however, there is a definite need for men in general to rise up to the moral standard set by the fairer sex.
Integrity – A Breakdown by Gender
Jennifer Schwartz, Ph.D., an associate professor of sociology at Washington State University, and her colleagues have been studying corporate crimes to see how women involvement compares to that of men. According to Schwartz, the Corporate Fraud Task Force found 436 workers guilty of running 83 separate schemes in a span of about seven years between 2002 and 2009.
Only 37 of the 436 involved were women — less than 10 percent!
Further study revealed that women “were nearly always in the minority, often alone, and most typically played rather small roles.” Schwartz briefly described a number of corporate crimes, each one lacking a dominant female player. She claims this is due to several factors, one of them being that the job descriptions of women generally do not place them in a position to lead such schemes.
Fraud for Gain
Even in illicit money schemes, there is a wage gap between the sexes. In a breakdown of the gains made by the different genders involved in fraud, women gained significantly less than their male counterparts. Of the guilty parties, over half of the women received little or no compensation for their involvement. Men, on the other hand, fared much better, with over half their number in the $500K- $1million and up range.
“Women executives tend to make more ethical decisions, avoid excessive risk taking, and create corporate cultures unsupportive of illegal business practices,” she explains while suggesting that more female leaders could reduce corporate crime.
Whether you believe that roles of men and women should be equally shared in the workplace or not, one thing remains clear — we must act to reduce corporate fraud. How you do that is up to you.