WASHINGTON (CBSDC) – A new study suggests that women who involve themselves in white-collar crimes are subject to the same limitations as their law-compliant counterparts in the corporate world.

According to the Pew Research Center in Washington, D.C., women who engage in fraud and other corporate crimes are relegated to positions of lower responsibility within collaborative schemes with men.

“Paralleling gendered labor market segmentation … sex segregation in corporate criminality is pervasive, suggesting only subtle shifts in gender socialization and women’s opportunities for significant white-collar crimes,” Pennsylvania State University sociologist Darrell J. Steffensmeier was quoted as saying by Pew in American Sociological Review.

Steffensmeier, who led the team of researchers involved in the study, utilized a federal government database that allowed the team to examine the specifics of 83 fraud cases where the crimes were initiated between 2002 and 2009.

In all, a reported 436 defendants were tried in relation to the instances of crime they studied. And of those, only 37 women were indicted – a mere 9 percent of the total list of defendants.

The study also noted that women occupied secondary roles both in the crimes they helped perpetrate and in the companies at which they were employed at the time.

“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,” researchers observed. “[O]nly 8 percent of women were in top management and 30 percent were in upper-level positions.”

Females additionally benefited little from their involvement. Fifty-six percent of those indicted on crimes of white-collar fraud did not profit from it, Pew learned.


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