The real reason women don't do financial services

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Where are all the senior women in banking? At Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, it's typical for fewer than 20% of managing director (MD) promotions to involve women. At Nomura, women only account for 30% of employees overall in Europe. Deutsche bank wins big plaudits for its 'diversity initiatives' but is still bereft of women on its management board and has only two women out of 23 people on its executive committee (and then they're in charge of compliance/regulation rather than revenue generating areas).

What's going wrong?

That chart below from PwC purports to show the answer. Women don't move from finance jobs because of childbirth. They move on because of lack of opportunity.

PWC women

The latest findings, based on a study of 600 millennial women working in banking and financial services, follow an earlier PwC study into women in financial services in May 2013. 

The 2013 study found that the men in finance who were making promotions were sexist. They 'associated strong leadership with widely held beliefs about male behavior'. They also thought that senior women wouldn't fit in with existing (male) executives. At the same time, women were growing understandably frustrated because flat hierarchies in financial services were reducing the number of already out of reach senior roles available.

If you're a woman in financial services and you don't think discrimination is an issue, it may be because you're too inexperienced. The earlier PwC study found that women drop off particularly at a certain point in their career - usually between the mid-manager and executive ranks.

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