The role of gender in the aggressive questioning of CEOs during earnings conference calls

This project is accepted for publication in The Accounting Review and is co-authored with Joseph Comprix (Syracuse University, United States), and Kerstin Lopatta (University of Hamburg, Germany).


We investigate the role of gender on the aggressiveness of sell-side analysts’ questions during earnings conference calls. Our tests reveal that the verbal aggressiveness of analysts’ questions is significantly associated with both the gender of the analyst asking the question and the gender of the CEO fielding the question. First, we find that male analysts are more verbally aggressive than female analysts. Specifically, male analysts’ questions are more direct and more likely to be followed with further questions, to have a preface statement, and to be negative, all of which are consistent with verbal aggressiveness. Second, male analysts’ questions to female CEOs are more aggressive than their questions to male CEOs. Gender-based verbal aggressiveness appears to be associated with analysts’ career trajectories: Female analysts who ask aggressive questions have a higher likelihood of becoming “star” analysts, whereas we fail to find such evidence for male analysts.

To access the full paper, click here.

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