Where Are the Women on Wall Street?

Scroll down below to read the article. In the meantime, here's my reaction:

Mrs. Bee's reaction: This featured article has some substance to the truth. A few year's back before this current job of mine, I landed a FT position with this hedge fund company. To my surprise, it was a small size firm with less than 30 employees. All of them were men except for myself, my manager, and the receptionist being the only women. (Can we say too much testosterone and not enough estrogen?) However, I did find another FT job shortly after working at my current job. That job just didn't work out the way I had hope mainly due to the long distance commute. But I was surprised by the ratio of the gender inequality.

You will also notice if you tune into MSNBC in the morning where they show the trading floor of the NYSE, not only is the floor littered with paper, but also MEN. There is hardly a women in sight except perhaps for a reporter on site. My DH works on the trading floor and he admits that his coworkers consist of all male. Do you see this kind of disparity in your workplace or anywhere else?

Here's the article:
When Sallie Krawcheck was hired six months ago as president of global wealth and investment management at Bank of America, she was besieged with e-mail messages from current and former Wall Street women celebrating her return to the fray.

The outpouring over Ms. Krawcheck’s return reflects deep anxiety among women in the financial industry that their career paths are narrowing even as business picks up again. Women have always been drawn to finance in smaller numbers than men. But after nearly two decades of increased hiring and promotion of women on Wall Street, their ranks appear to be shrinking again.

Even though women are gaining ground on men enrolled in business school — they constituted 39.3 percent of full-time students in American business schools in 2009, compared with 34.1 percent five years earlier, according to the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools — the percentage of those women headed for finance or accounting jobs is dropping.

Of those female graduates, 21.1 percent were pursuing finance or accounting in 2009, down 6.6 percentage points from 2005, according to the Graduate Management Admission Council, a nonprofit group of business schools. The rate also dropped for men, but less drastically — falling 4.7 percentage points this year to 25.4 percent.

But in the heart of Wall Street, the aggressive environment on the trading floor is often cited as a reason that women are rare at the top. Others cite the dearth of women to aid in career networking. Whatever the reason, ascending the ladder is much harder for women, said Bruce C. Greenwald, a professor of finance and strategy at Columbia University Business School.

“It is more difficult for women to come back because the environment in financial institutions is generally more hostile to women,” he said. “This culture has developed over a very long period of time, and it has been exacerbated as the firms’ emphasis has shifted from traditional investment banking to sales and trading, which is an even more macho culture.”


Jayde said...

I have 2 brothers and a husband in finance and from what I hear it's a very difficult environment for women to be in. I've heard too many stories of the chauvinistic culture being too much for women to have to deal with everyday. I know I myself would not want to be in that environment and I wonder if this encourages women to turn away from wall st.

To answer your question about the chart on my blog, I took a snapshot of my excel file and saved it as an image, then uploaded it to my blog. Hope that helps!

Investing Newbie said...

Also, finance is a very "cliquey" field. I work in Finance right now and honestly, it is hard to break in with the "Boyz." I believe that the commaraderie they enjoy is beyond women because of more stringent sexual harrassment laws. That said, these erosion to potential professional relationship pans out in the workforce. If one guy is doing well at the hedge fund, he's going to bring his buddies in for interviews, not the extremely qualified lady that works with him.

Howard said...

My employer takes Women on Wall Street very seriously. It is a part of our corporate diversity efforts.