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The corporate crime gender gap

Published: Wednesday, Sept. 11 2013 9:30 p.m. MDT

Michael Steinberg, center, exits Manhattan federal court with his attorney Barry Berke, in this Friday,March 29. 2013, file photo. A senior portfolio manager for SAC Capital Advisors, one of the largest U.S. hedge funds was arrested and accused of making $1.4 million illegally in a widening insider trading probe involving an investment company founded by billionaire businessman Steven A. Cohen. A recent study has shown that women were far less likely to participate in white-collar crime.

Louis Lanzano, Associated Press

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Women in the corporate world often suffer from a gender pay gap relative to their male peers. A recent study by Bloomberg found high-level women excutives on average earn 18 percent less than men. But there’s another area where a glass ceiling exists that women may not want to break through: corporate crime.

A new study in the American Sociological Review reported on by Journalist's Resource indicates that in a review of 83 white collar fraud cases involving 436 defendants there were "substantial gender differences" in the way the crimes were committed and profited from. The study found that women were far less likely to participate in white-collar crime — only 9 percent of the defendants were women. And if women did participate, they were often in a personal relationship with a man in the criminal ring or were in a lower-level "strategic position," such as accounting or compliance.

"The majority of male offenders held a top executive or upper-level positions, whereas a much smaller portion of female conspirators were high-ranking officials — only 8 percent of women were in top management and 30 percent were in upper-level positions," according to the study's authors.

And in a twist on the corporate gender pay gap, women made less than men from the criminal schemes they did participate in. "Female conspira­tors profited far less than their male co-con­spirators, a disparity that persisted even when controlling for corporate rank and whether one played a major role in a scheme," the study found.

UPI also reported that the study found that more than half of all women did not personally profit from the frauds they were involved in, while the majority of male offenders made half a million dollars or more.

EMAIL: dmerling@deseretnews.com

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