PTJ Steps In It with the Ladies

Eddie Braverman's picture
Rank: The Pro | 21,111

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?

Comments (9)

May 27, 2013

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?story...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oxytocin

http://chriskresser.com/natural-childbirth-iv-the-... (NSFW image of breastfeeding baby).

Interesting look at high risk/reward behaviours, careers and dispassionate viewpoints of the world, not something you'd find often in a mother.

May 27, 2013

Jones isn't the first one to say it, Glencore's Chairman said if a few years back too. I agree with them to an extent but don't think generalizing is the way to go...

The HBS guys have MAD SWAGGER. They frequently wear their class jackets to boston bars, strutting and acting like they own the joint. They just ooze success, confidence, swagger, basically attributes of alpha males.

May 27, 2013

I agree with the basic assumption that work may suffer when people are going through stressful situations or have significant time commitments suddenly enter their life. Divorce and pregnancy are two such things. Illness, deaths in the family and drug addictions are other examples.

I don't know why people make such a big deal out of it. Ultimately, in all of these cases, the individual either figures out how to deal with it or needs to find a different occupation.

And no, I'm not comparing having kids to drug addictions beyond the fact that they are both potentially stressful and time consuming.

May 27, 2013

I feel like a lot of the lack of women in trading (and finance in general) is mainly self-selection. It's not a career conducive to raising a family, and that's still really important to a lot of college-age girls entering the workforce. A number of my friends chose the fields they're going into because they'll be able to set their own hours and work part time if they need to.

That being said, that's not all women. I think that a lot of women might change their priorities once they have a kid, but some could go a different route as well (day care, asking dad/grandparents to pitch in, etc.). Personally, I would give up my uterus for my dream career. Still wouldn't want to do trading though - it's not a culture I think I would enjoy working in.

May 27, 2013

Its a two way street. I think he is right, but all my friends with wall street dads basically didnt have a dad because they were out of the house before they woke up and came home after they went to sleep. Someone has to watch the kids and more often than not it is the wife, not the husband.

May 27, 2013

agree with him 100% but the thing that sucks for women is that there's no real way to signal to your employer that you won't get knocked up. i was talking to my girlfriend about this and said that there's a perfect solution for things like this: sign a contract with your employer that you won't get knocked up for five years and that they can fire you on spot or sue you if you do. would be perfect if not for the government not allowing people to willingly enter into contracts

May 27, 2013
whatwhatwhat:

agree with him 100% but the thing that sucks for women is that there's no real way to signal to your employer that you won't get knocked up. i was talking to my girlfriend about this and said that there's a perfect solution for things like this: sign a contract with your employer that you won't get knocked up for five years and that they can fire you on spot or sue you if you do. would be perfect if not for the government not allowing people to willingly enter into contracts

Great idea, but you are right, gov't wouldn't allow it. It is ironic that the 'women's rights' groups would be so opposed to females having the freedom to enter such contracts to access doors that might otherwise be shut.

May 27, 2013
whatwhatwhat:

agree with him 100% but the thing that sucks for women is that there's no real way to signal to your employer that you won't get knocked up. i was talking to my girlfriend about this and said that there's a perfect solution for things like this: sign a contract with your employer that you won't get knocked up for five years and that they can fire you on spot or sue you if you do. would be perfect if not for the government not allowing people to willingly enter into contracts

What happens if the girl gets raped & knocked up? Good lucking arguing that scenerio with the govt.

May 28, 2013
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