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A Neuroscientific Perspective on Gender Differences in Finance

  • Despite the fact, that women’s underrepresentation in finance is tried to be encountered by legal regulations, little research has been conducted on why most women still decide to not pursue a career in finance. Thus, finance currently remains to be a male-dominating sector. However, which potential consequences homogeneous versus heterogenous groups in finance have on the success of financial decision-making results in companies in the long term is still little studied. According to this research gap, this thesis sets out to research the cause of gender imbalance as well as the impact of the perception of gender differences in finance from a neuroscientific perspective. First, it is examined whether distinct biological factors in men and women lead to different interests, skills, and abilities that explain a superior natural suitability to perform in finance. Further, it is discussed how the brain processes financial decisions and which internal- as well as external factors impact decision-making. This will be set in context with major findings from psychologist Iain McGilchrist and his hemispheres-approach, and Daniel Kahnemann and his dual-process theory. Further, it is investigated how particularly women respond to stereotype-threat, applying the latest theories by neuroscientist Gina Rippon, and how this influences women’s ability to perform in the financial sector. According to this, it is explained how deep-rooted gender roles, stereotyping and unconscious biases lead to self-fulfilling prophecies in performance, and thus, restrain the advancement of gender diversity in finance. Finally, it is researched in what way homogenous groups in finance are susceptible to overconfidence and groupthink and to what extend enhancing gender diversity can improve financial decision-making. According to this, neuroscientific strategies that counteract unconscious biases and irrational decision-making in finance are discussed.

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Author:Jennifer Schneidt
Advisor:Heike Stengel
Document Type:Bachelor Thesis
Year of Completion:2020
Granting Institution:Hochschule Furtwangen
Date of final exam:2020/12/04
Release Date:2020/12/07
Tag:Gender differences; Neurofinance
Page Number:46
Degree Program:IBM - International Business Management
Functional area:Finance & Accounting
Licence (German):License LogoUrheberrechtlich geschützt