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Women in Finance Must Ask for Promotion, Unlike Men: Survey

Far fewer women than men are promoted in the finance industry unless they first ask for seniority, a sign of institutional gender bias, according to a new study in Australia.

The survey of 2,000 finance industry professionals showed 76% of men were offered a promotion at least once without requesting it, compared with 57% of women. The study was compiled by lead researchers Ardea Investment Management and Australian National University in conjunction with industry experts.

The findings provide “evidence of that culture that things come to men without asking,” said Bronwen Whiting, who worked on the survey and is a senior lecturer in applied statistics at the university. “It can’t all be on women to act differently to fix it.”

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Australia is among the countries that can claim some success in tackling gender inequality. For example, a report by consultancy Kearney this year showed Australia tops the U.K., U.S. and India for the proportion of female parliamentarians and women board members in its top 100 firms. Yet the latest survey’s results show ongoing gaps, including the fact that male fund managers on average earn more than twice as much as female counterparts.

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