Dr. Tengfei Zhang received a Chancellor’s Grant for Assistant Professor Research Development to pursue research on Diversity in the Financial Analyst Profession. This project examines the role of diversity in financial analysts’ performance. Only 12% of financial analysts are women, and 23% of analysts come from racial minority backgrounds. The finance profession has been slow to respond to the growing importance of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI), but our research supports these efforts.The research resulted in three papers.
In the first paper, utilizing natural language processing methods, we investigate gender issues in interactions between sell-side analysts and executives on earnings conference calls. We find that women are generally less “visible” on conference calls. Specifically, female analysts appear on calls less frequently, speak less, and ask fewer follow-up questions.
In the second paper, using machine learnings on analyst reports and earnings conference calls, we find that female equity analysts play an important monitoring in enhancing corporate environmental and social performance through their voice in reports and calls.
In the third paper, we examine how forecast behaviors of East Asian financial analysts would change in the face of escalated crimes against Asians amid the COVID-19 pandemic. We demonstrate that the forecast quality of East Asian analysts deteriorates during the pandemic, indicating detrimental impacts of social bias and violence against a certain ethnic group.
Drafts of the papers can be found on SSRN:
Brown, Nerissa C. and Francis, Bill B. and Hu, Wenyao and Hu, Wenyao and Shohfi, Thomas and Zhang, Tengfei and Xin, Daqi, Gender and Earnings Conference Calls (March 21, 2023). https://ssrn.com/abstract=3473266 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3473266
Li, Kai and Mai, Feng and Wong, Gabriel and Yang, Chelsea and Zhang, Tengfei, Female Equity Analysts and Corporate Environmental and Social Performance (August 29, 2023). https://ssrn.com/abstract=4154013 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4154013
Qiao, Yankuo and Xu, Qinzheng and Zhang, Tengfei, COVID-19 Pandemic, Hate Crimes, and Analyst Forecast Quality (January 29, 2023). https://ssrn.com/abstract=4315923 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4315923