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She Wolf of Wall Street

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I’ve always fancied myself as one of those powerful corporate women, striding down the street in a pinstriped suit barking, “buy, sell!” into an elegant, encrusted phone.women of wall street

Sadly, the reality is somewhat different.

Most days I can be found wearing ugg boots or thongs, sitting at my crappy computer, puzzling over acronyms like P/E Ratio, OTC or PLC.

I guess I find it intimidating. And I’m not alone.

Trading floors are testosterone-driven; women are few and far between.

In fact, it took until 1973 for women to be allowed to work as traders at the London Stock Exchange.

 And new research shows female brokers earn around 20 per cent less than their male counterparts.

Writing in an IMF publication, Managing Director Christine Lagarde reiterates that women bring a better balance of risk and reward in business and finance.

“I have joked that a ‘male’ culture of reckless financial risk taking was at the heart of the global crisis,” she said. “Studies back this up. Men trade more often—some say 45 per cent more often—and risk taking can be mapped to trading room profits and losses. Mixing the genders can help.”

It’s got nothing to do with men being from Mars and women being from Venus.

This kind of “neurosexism”, as the author of Delusions of Gender, Cordelia Fine, calls it, has been debunked.

But girls, and women, are under-confident about their abilities in the areas of maths, finance and science.

 FTSE 100 General Manager Nikki Yates reckons more women working in these areas would boost the economy, and lead to better pay.

“At the age of 12 or 13, more girls than boys rate science as their favourite subject, and girls’ achievement in science is higher than boys’ at all key stages. But girls are less likely than boys to aspire towards science-related careers, and women graduates are more likely to have chosen subjects which lead to lower earnings.”


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