So this caused a minor shitstorm last week. Legendary trader Paul Tudor Jones opined during a roundtable discussion last month that female traders will never do as well as their male counterparts because they lose focus once they have kids. To make matters worse, the way he said it took a turn for the really creepy (video after the jump) when he said, "As soon as that baby's lips touch that girl's...bosom...forget it."
As if to prove he's not sexist, he then went on to say that he dings his male traders as soon as he finds out they're going through a divorce.
Tudor Jones, who graduated from the University of Virginia in 1976, has four children. He said men with children can be good money managers, but divorce could hurt their ability to focus. Tudor Jones says he redeems his money from male managers as soon as he learns that they are going through a divorce. "You can automatically subtract 10% to 20% from any manager when he is going through a divorce."
Here's part of the video that had the money honeys up in arms on Friday:
Now, there's no doubt that there's an undercurrent of sexism on Wall Street. I genuinely believe that it isn't as rampant as it was even 20 years ago, but it's definitely there. Part of me has a hard time disagreeing with PTJ on this one, though.
For example, I know for a fact that guys lose focus and do stupid things when they're up against the ropes of a divorce. Having gone through it twice myself, I can tell you that it is hard to focus. And at least part of you is thinking about all the money you're making her with every trade you're right about - and it ain't a great feeling.
I've never known any female traders who've had babies (mostly because I've only known three or four female traders in my life), but I did know one who had an older kid (maybe 7-years old). She was the most self-absorbed and utterly negligent mother I think I've ever known. So, while it sucked ass to be her kid, her work didn't suffer because she was a mom (it ultimately suffered because she was a terrible person with an expensive meth habit and ended up an accomplice to fraud).
So I can't speak with any authority on the subject, because I just haven't known enough female traders in my life to form an informed opinion. Deep down though, a part of me really hopes that a woman would lose focus on her job if she just had a baby.
Predictably, PTJ is in the hot seat for the mistake of giving voice to what is probably a widely-held opinion (at least among the older guys) on Wall Street. I'm wondering if you guys think he's right.
Do you work with any female traders who have gone on to have kids? Did their work suffer for it? This is something I'm actually genuinely interested in, because I think females have personality traits that could lend themselves better to trading in some respects than those of male traders.
On the other hand, maybe PTJ is just an old creep after all.
What say you, monkeys?