Women in finance are doing it all wrong

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Where are the women? Not on the trading floor (even though they make better traders). Not in hedge funds. Not in private equity, and not in investment banking generally. Unsurprisingly, they are also rarely to be found on the boards of financial services firms and rarely to be round on executive committees.

However, there are some senior finance jobs where women are abundant. It's just that they're not the ones that come with the highest prestige and that command the most massive salaries. 

Take the chart below from today's report on senior women in finance by think tank New Financial. 

While there are next to no female CEOs (8%) or CIOs (6%) or CTOs (9%), there are absolutely loads of women in human resources and communications (58% and 64% respectively). Women are either self-selecting into these jobs, or are being steered into them once they've joined in other functions.

Does this matter? Not necessarily. Maybe women in finance are perfectly happy in HR and communications? Maybe these roles offer the sort of flexibility that suits 'working mothers'? Maybe they're 'playing to their strengths'?

And yet, the disparity between the proportion of women in these jobs and the proportion of women in senior operational jobs is so enormous, that it seems almost certain that women are being pigeon-holed, voluntarily or otherwise, and placed in particular areas. Women are in finance, they're just not in the best places there.

Women in finance

Source: New Financial 

Photo credit:Telephonists at N.E.S. [i.e. National Emergency Services] control centre by State Library Victoria is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

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