Who's a Bigger Corporate Fraudster, Men or Women?

It's probably who you think.  According to Charlie Osborne at smartplanet.com, "When women are involved in corporate fraud, they generally have a lesser role to play — and make far less money than men. However, typically women choose not to be part of shady dealings."

Sounds pretty sexist to me.  But according to some studies, more than half of females involved in corporate fraud made either no money or a “trivial” amount, "whereas 26 percent of males earned between $500,000 and $999,000 and 33 percent made more than $1 million," Osborne reports.

He quotes Darrell Steffensmeier, professor of sociology and criminology at Penn State, who said that about "three out of four conspiracies to commit corporate fraud were all-male, and there was no report of an all-female conspiracy."

“Women are less likely to be recruited as co-conspirators in male-orchestrated schemes and less likely to be able to recruit co-offenders should they wish to initiate a corporate fraud,” Steffensmeier told Osborne. “The glass ceiling effect for involvement in corporate corruption is likely as great or greater than the ceiling that keeps women from climbing the corporate ladder.”

Steffensmeier believes, Osborne writes, that female executives may improve ethical standards, or the findings could suggest that women generally take fewer risks and self-censor more in the corporate world due to feeling “they are under greater surveillance” than male colleagues. "In addition, women may not have as much access to top corporate positions — and so less opportunity to profiteer," Osborne says.

Hmm.  Another convenient excuse.  I know plenty of women who would commit fraud if given the chance. Actually, I like being thought of as having more ethics but I don't like the idea of censoring myself more, or being less of a risk-taker because I'm a woman.

So where does Sheryl Sandberg come in on all this?  I'm not suggesting she'd commit corporate fraud, just that she doesn't meet any of the descriptions above (even if she doesn't want to pay an intern!).

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