I hope you all had a great Memorial Day weekend. Hopefully by now all of you have seen the Paul Tudor Jones video with his thoughts on why there are so few women traders. If you have not seen the video, I would encourage you to watch it. What is horrifying is that this is not the first time he has been asked to comment on this subject in front of a room full of predominantly women. Mr. Tudor Jones suggests that the reason there are so few female traders is that once women have children, they lose interest in anything else. I suggest that the reason there are so few women traders and women on Wall Street in general, is Mr. Tudor Jones’ attitude. Over the course of my career, I have heard many instances of women not being hired or passed over for promotion because of the fear that they were in their child bearing years and would “just quit anyway.” What I have seen is that the opposite is true – if women can be given a flexible work schedule for a short period, they prefer to stay engaged and are incredibly productive.
And here is the rub – this is not only about having children. At some point in everyone’s life, there will be a period where we need to step back – whether it be for children, aging parents or personal illness – these reasons transcend age, race and gender. As a society, we need to recognize Mr. Tudor-Jones words for what they are – not so subtle gender discrimination. In his mind, gender is a valid reason to keep women away from a very lucrative table, and he would not even give a woman a chance to show what she can do, so she is out of the game before she starts. If you substituted race for gender in the last sentence, can you imagine the outcry?
The positive thing about all this is that a powerful trader is now on record for his discriminatory views, and what can come of this is an honest dialogue which can change the landscape for any woman wanting to enter and stay in this field because of the job she does – not because her chair is taken away before she has been given a chance.
See you all at an event soon!