Plenty of women have said what they think about the sexual discrimination charges that three women filed a couple of weeks ago against Goldman Sachs.
Some have come out passionately describing the difficulty that Goldman Sachs as a whole faces as they try to fix the obvious problem of an underwhelming number of women in the top ranks at their firm. Others describe the rules that Goldman has implemented to try to improve the situation.
And then there’s this perspective on the issue, from Yves Smith, who used to be the former Goldman Sachs corporate finance director.
Her op-ed is really interesting because it’s the most boring article we’ve read yet about the three woman’s fascinating case.
It’s not dull because – as she suggests – his article doesn’t mention the dirty specifics of the case. (Actually hers does – and these two engaging pieces on this issue, which we also mentioned above, don’t.)
But because it’s detached and hopeless that Goldman and Wall Street will in our lifetime figure out a way to fix its inherent sexism without implying that women are handicapped because they need stats (read: help) to get to the top.
It’s depressing because Smith comes from Goldman, so she might be right.
She writes a lot more, but this is one of her concluding points about the discrimination case:
Conservatism and a common preference to hire in your own image leads many firms to stick with their tried-and true profile, which in most cases is Caucasian and male.
“Conservatism and a common preference to …” Those are nicer words for narcissism, a quality in both men and women, and a good point.
They further prove her actual conclusion, which is that nothing will change anytime soon as long as people are narcissists, which, let’s be honest – they always will be.
Boys see older men at the heads of Wall Street companies and want to emulate them. Girls don’t, so they don’t as frequently aspire to be like them.
Our take: That’s why we’re not hopeless. We think this means there’s at least one clear solution.
We’re not about to change human nature or evolve with fewer narcissistic traits. So it seems to us that requiring every company to employ at least some percentage of women to work in the upper ranks is the only way to fix the repetitive and damaging system.
Sure, women will have to work harder to prove that they didn’t just get handed the job because they’re handicapped. And based on the gender discrimination lawsuits we’ve seen, they’ll probably continue to be required to meet higher standards.
Sounds good to us. Who out there is saying anything other than, Ok?
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