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Why Aren't Women Breaking Through?

Are women in finance any less ambitious than men, any less self-promoting or less willing to ask for big pay raises?

A recent article in Financial News alleged that those qualities -- rather than discrimination whether overt or covert -- explain why so few women have scaled the heights of investment banking. The article quoted several London-based employment lawyers and consultants - all of whom were female themselves.

What's your opinion? Should a woman who lingers below the glass ceiling blame only herself?

AUTHOReFinancialCareers News Insider Comment
  • Ma
    3 February 2008

    I agree totally. I have worked in Investment Banking for 15 years and have asked a few senior women to be my mentor and none are interested. We have to change the behavior if we want to change the industry. In fac, it seems women try to out do each other every chance they can get. I think this is an industry wide problem.

  • Ga
    22 October 2007

    I want to comment on the article that linked through to this debate - 'Banks School Women in Breaking Through Gender Culture'. All of the talks and programmes mentioned are aimed at educating women on how to be successful. The message is that women need extra help to break through to top-level jobs - the assumption is that they're the ones doing something wrong. Why not do it the other way round: rather than giving the message that women need extra help, why not try to change the culture that makes it difficult for women? Recent research backs me up on the benefits of this - companies with women on the board are more likely to do well. Treat the cause rather than the symptom!

  • De
    19 October 2007

    I have also noticed this. It appears that the majority of women rarely mentor and seem almost hyper aggressive, partially do the fact that there has been such a bias/discrimination historically. While everyone on WS seems to backstab quite a bit, I have noticed that senior women seem to be vicious with regards to promotions/getting ahead

  • Ze
    18 October 2007

    The Women act more individual than men toward their careers. Successful women are more afraid to share ideas or help other women to grow up in their career. This could be a result of the hard time that women experienced through their success. Men tend to help each other and have a better network than women.

  • Co
    15 October 2007

    Unfortunately, women holding higher positions do not mentor, support other woman wanting to move up or along in their careers. I have worked on the street for a number of years and women bosses do little to help you, men on the other hand are much more willing to assist, support, foster your growth. Women do not help each other to get ahead, it's the same old story they want to cement their own standing in the group/corporation at your expense.

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