Wall Street's Pathetic Number Of Female Executives

Illustration for article titled Wall Streets Pathetic Number Of Female Executives

You've seen the lawsuits and heard the horror stories. Now, the dazzling numbers on women in investment banking. Spoiler: They suck.

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Financial News crunched the numbers on the major banks (the ones that would give them their data) and came up with the following figures:

Less than 5% of the most senior executives at investment banks are women, according to research by Financial News. Just 4.2% of those sitting on executive committees, or at an equivalent level, across a sample of 20 investment banks and investment banking divisions, are female.

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That translates into nine women out of 220 senior positions. (The number is higher if you include women in senior positions for human resources and communications, which tend to feature more women but lack the clout, official and unofficial, of investment banking positions.)

Some of the banks refused to give data altogether, but one bank executive told Financial News, "We recognise the importance and urgency of this issue in our industry, and last year at Jefferies we launched a firm-wide global initiative to help attract more women into investment banking."

But let's be precise about the nature of the problem here. Attracting women to high-paying, powerful positions is a start, but retaining them and promoting them is another matter entirely. Just this month, data was released showing that 141,000 women have left the overall financial services industry in the last decade. Even the women who happen not to encounter outright discrimination face structural barriers to success — or better incentives elsewhere — that no initial recruitment can fix.

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Full Extent Of Gender Bias In Investment Banking Exposed [Financial News]
Earlier: Wall Street Women On The Decline

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DISCUSSION

I work in a bank branch as a desk person. Most of the staff are women, all of the tellers, the branch manager and assistant manager. This is true for our sister branches in the district. Our investment banker and business banker are both men, and so is anyone higher in the chain.

That seems to be the case so often, especially in retail. The people in the trenches, as it were, are all women. The people sitting in the CEO corner offices are men.

Still blows my mind.