Women See Opportunities in Trading

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Many women believe trading, though still dominated by men, is a place where they are judged by performance before anything else.

A number of women traders told the New York Times that though their numbers may still be relatively small, trading is a part of Wall Street where they're judged more by performance than gender.

''We need to dispel the myth that women cannot get into this field," said Lisa M. Utasi, who's been trading for some 20 years and is currently an equities trader at Legg Mason unit ClearBridge Advisors. "We are doing it and there are many women that are successful and we need to make sure that message is open to all women.''

Among the other observations:

  • Karen L. Finerman, who runs Metropolitan Capital, her own hedge fund, began as a trader because she liked the challenge. However, she's found the job is a good one for those who seek to balance work and family. ''The hours for trading are pretty set and they are not long," she said.
  • Katie Thomassen, at 26 an institutional sales trader for Belzberg Technologies, said her colleagues began treating her as an equal when they saw she could handle her job. Still, she said starting out seemed a bit more difficult as a woman, and she still finds herself in the minority at meetings and presentations.
  • Muriel Siebert, president of discount broker Muriel Siebert & Company, said that while "women now are being treated with respect" in the field, she still doesn't see many firms who women heading their trading departments.
  • The Times interviewed the women at a party given by Trader Monthly to mark publication of its women-in trading-issue.

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