We posted this surprising chart recently, showing Wall Street turning into even more of a boys’ club.
Why is this happening? Sylvia Ann Hewlett of the centre for Work-Life Policy tells FINS it’s because women care about things like reputation. And men don’t:
More than anything else, the things that distinguished women from men in 2008 was that they hated what happened to the reputation of Wall Street. Women seemed to care a lot about the status, the integrity and the mission of their company, and when that became tarnished, that was a real dealbreaker for women. …It was pretty important for them to work with a company they could feel proud of. … Men are more likely to just tough it out, because in the end the paycheck and the comp package is tremendously important to a lot of men. One of the highlights has been huge growth the numbers of older women in finance, those over 55. They were the pioneers in a way. Two-thirds of them probably did not get married or have children, so they did pay a pretty big price.…Once a whole bunch of pretty senior women leave from a firm, there are no longer mentors or role-models or the sponsors you need to anchor the younger women. So it kind of cascades down.
But it gets worse. Hewlett’s research shows women are also becoming less ambitious:
We asked things like ‘Are you shooting for a top job at your company?’ And obviously, a whole bunch of women are not. Ambition does fall off as women head towards their late-30s. Between 30% and 40% of women take some sort of short break, and if they hit some brick walls when they try to come back, you often end up in this sort of downward trajectory, which is a great pity, because you don’t really lose your marbles in two years.
So did Wall Street kill feminism?
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