Black Women in IB - Experiences?

Hey Everybody,

I have read a few posts about African Americans in IB and there are a slew of forum topics about females in IB. However, I haven't seen a post about the nexus of the two.

Can any minority women provide some insights about their experience and how the industry has treated them?

Disclaimer: not trying to troll or start some long thread debating related topics such as affirmative action and race relations in America. Please just stick to the topic.

Comments (134)

Aug 8, 2018

Like actual people?..

Funniest
Aug 8, 2018

Yes what a concept

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Aug 8, 2018

The sample size will be pretty low to respond here, but anything is possible.

We have a couple Associates in my class of ~50 at my BB firm who are Black women in front office IBD. They are universally smart and great to work with, that being said, I'm sure they have had to face more challenges and to "prove themselves" more than the average Associate. I went to an engineering school in the South and it seems pretty similar to what people faced there. The small upside is that the network is strong within the bank and across banks, having gone through the crucible of this job provides you with a shared experience and knowing nod from your peers. Again similar to NSBE and other groups. I would strongly recommend connecting with as many people as possible and find a mentor within the bank (even if not in your group) who can give you better advice.

EDIT: PM me and I can help if you would like to connect with someone at my bank.

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Aug 8, 2018

bump!

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Aug 8, 2018

You should probably just connect with diversity program alum on LinkedIn. Doubt you find a lot of responses on here.

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Aug 8, 2018

In my class of 50, we had one African-American woman recruiting for IB. I'm a POC myself, but a male. I knew that she had double the barriers to jump over, but she also had more bites at the apple. There are a lot more diversity specific recruiting programs, but many of them happen before the general cycle and if you're not prepared, you miss out on them.

I hope you find your fit and you feel comfortable coming into IB. This industry needs it, and the value of your unique perspective and insights should allow you to make a real contribution.

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Aug 8, 2018

Thanks for the encouraging post.. appreciated.

Aug 8, 2018

Prospective black female hopefully going into IB! -- would love to connect

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Aug 8, 2018
lapike:

In my class of 50, we had one African-American woman recruiting for IB. I'm a POC myself, but a male. I knew that she had double the barriers to jump over, but she also had more bites at the apple. There are a lot more diversity specific recruiting programs, but many of them happen before the general cycle and if you're not prepared, you miss out on them.

I hope you find your fit and you feel comfortable coming into IB. This industry needs it, and the value of your unique perspective and insights should allow you to make a real contribution.

Idk how you can look at numbers and not realize there are very high barriers for POC other people never face

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Aug 8, 2018

Exactly. There are so many people who think that they're being completely screwed because their target bank is hosting an event to attract more women or POCs into the industry. But this is only one event. The people getting upset about this have had an entire lifetime of advantage.

Oh well. When you've been privileged your entire life, equality feels like oppression.

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Aug 9, 2018

What "numbers" are you referring too?

Array

Aug 8, 2018

Lol why the random monkey shit?

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Aug 8, 2018

Your use of the word nexus probably caused a few high school kids to have to go to dictionary.com and figure out what was going on. Having then used the phonetic "dic" reminded them of their involuntary celibacy, that coupled with low vocab skills probably triggered them. I wouldn't worry about it too much.

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Aug 8, 2018

You are too much...Thanks for the laugh

Aug 8, 2018

Sadly, any relevant threads are few and far between. The only ones I've come across are from 2017 and 2015 - a number of the responses and their tone are less than helpful.

https://www.wallstreetoasis.com/forums/succeeding-...
https://www.wallstreetoasis.com/forums/wall-street...
One of my best friends has been in banking and finance for over 2 decades and is a black woman, born in London, raised in the US, all her schooling/work career in the US.

She's had both good and bad experiences in her schooling and working lives, has experienced both overt and subtle racism/bias. She and I have worked together at several firms over the years and I can tell you as an observer there are always going to be some people who will want to mentor you and some people will want as little to do with you as possible. I saw her both get passed up for promotions that she was deserving of at times, but also saw her given wonderful work opportunities.

If you'd like, send me a private message and I can see about putting you two in touch if you'd like to pick her brain. Actually, I just saw your 'daily limit' comment, so I will drop you a PM.

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Aug 8, 2018

@bankerella2 is a minority too and can probably help you.

Aug 9, 2018

Very hard to talk about those things here knowing the lack of diversity this site have. Just because there is diversity program that does not mean that at the end of the day firms hire more people of diverse background. Are firms making progress on hiring diverse candidates? Yes. Is there still more to be done? Yes. Is it bad for non diversity applicants from non target schools? Yes. But until firms understand that all applicants should be treated equally, there will still be a need for diversity programs, because in a general Superdays it is more likely that a non diversity candidate gets the job because of knowing someone at the firm or having a deeper connection with the senior interviewer who in most cases have the same background.

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Aug 10, 2018

PM me. I'll connect you with one of my mentors, she worked at two BB's for a couple of years.

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Aug 8, 2018

Could you PM me? I guess my daily limit hasn't lifted yet.

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Aug 10, 2018

This thread shows what a cesspool this site is.

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Aug 10, 2018
vxtu:

This thread shows what a cesspool this site is.

People expressing different opinions

"Oh my gosh!!! What a cesspool!! Insulate me!!"

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Aug 10, 2018

I think people from "disadvantaged" backgrounds always are going to have it tough. I have a friend who's pure African and is a very talented and knowledgeable person. Easy a top bucket and unfortunately the amount of times I hear other people bring up affirmative action or some other similar BS in regards to him completely undermines his qualities and like I said hes top bucket, I can only imagine what it must be like for an average performer.

I personally do not believe in affirmative action as everyone should get positions on merit. The sad truth is we do need it as at least in my experience the offices I have worked in are nearly all white western male Europeans.

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Aug 11, 2018

-

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Aug 11, 2018

Female rappers overall are a small sample set. But you can be damn sure every record company is looking for the next Eminem or Post Malone. And you can be damn sure their skin color helped them become as popular as they are among a largely white fan base (white people are who drive music sales). That said, I still think Eminem is a top 5 rapper ever.

Aug 8, 2018

By his own admission a top 9 rapper. It goes Reggie, Jay-Z, Tupac and Biggie, Andre from Outkast, Jada, Kurupt, Nas and then Em.

Aug 11, 2018

This thread is exactly what I thought it would be. Let me make this clear: yes, minority hiring programs give minorities an advantage, IN THAT SPECIFIC ASPECT. No, that does not mean minorities have an OVERALL advantage when it comes to recruiting AT ALMOST ANY TYPE OF JOB. The evidence overwhelmingly points to minorities being at a disadvantage, regardless of minority outreach programs. People who deny this are either a.) intellectually dishonest or b.) ignorant. I generally hope for ignorance because intellectual dishonesty in this case would implicate malicious intent (you know minorities are disadvantaged but trumpet that they are advantaged for nefarious reasons). To the poster who mentioned poor Asians/ whites, that's a fair argument, but their race still conveys them societal advantages that a minority of any income level simply cannot rely on. That said, I'm happy to acknowledge that there needs to be more income based hiring programs.

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Aug 15, 2018

I agree with most of your statements but god it is so annoying when people say asians have some sort of societal advantage. Being an asian in this country fckin blows. No one gives a shit about us in terms of college admission/job search because there is a surplus of asians that are willing to grind. As a cherry on top, there are limited spots thanks to affirmative action. I think Asians don't whine and cry about this shit because there is a cultural stigma where you are perceived to be weak if you whine. But I'll let you know right now that we don't enjoy grinding. I wouldn't have read Investment Banking by Rosenbaum 3 times while other kids read vault guides if I didn't feel like I had to. We just grind because we have to. It shouldn't be hard to figure this shit out when you look at statistical difference between Eastern Asian/Indians and other minorities (or even white students for that matter) in admissions (undergrad and grad). I mostly keep this kind of negativity to myself but I do feel very salty about this topic.

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Aug 11, 2018

In my experience, Asians have to prove they are dumb, people naturally assume they are smart. Most people of other races have to prove they are smart. Asians also have to prove they are lazy, people naturally assume they are hard working. This benefit of a doubt is a societal advantage.

p.s. Unqualified white ppl are the ones who are unfairly replacing Asians in college admissions and such, not minorities. Blaming affirmative action is laughable, especially when it comes to the job market.

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Aug 17, 2018

I do agree that Asians have it hard, but I'm curious--why does the blame for limited spots for Asians get placed on affirmative action? Isn't the issue more so that people, purposefully or not, put a cap on the number of Asians they're willing to take in, but not whites? At the end of the day, I think its the ceiling that's being put on Asians that's the issue and not the 5 diversity spots. No one says there's "too many" qualified Caucasian candidates, but that has unjustifiably been a point of contention with Asians.

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Aug 11, 2018

Random data points, but I'll share what I've seen, especially at associate / VP level
- As a female, especially if you have kids it's tough from perception perspective. I've seen others complain about why the female colleague can go / work from home vs rest (not that there is any set rule) or have easier accounts. From firm perspective there is support. From actual individuals at same level, think there is a lack of sympathy. Don't see anyone going after guys because they had a family member pass away.
- I've also seen individuals not only mention minority status as a driver for hiring, but also a reason as why someone might have been ranked / paid higher. My view is that ranking stuff is always a crap shoot and very few are happy, but I also don't think the banks actively try to mess w it based on sex / gender. It's more likely that someone threw you under the bus
- I would also say banks are more flexible with females taking time off (eg for kids) and still be on track for promotion, etc. I've also seen male colleagues being disgruntled about it. For all these, I think the same males would have very different perspective if someone treated their wife and sister same way

Above include both black and non-black females.

Overall don't think it's easy being a female / minority in banking. Take a look around. From VP level and up, it suddenly becomes very male (mostly white, followed by Asian/Indian). Given the competitive nature, any time someone feels slighted (in theory half will be be ranked below average), they'll find any excuse, and blaming someone's gender, race is easier than trying to self reflect on own shortcomings.

I don't have a good answer on what's the solution. The job itself is demanding from hour and travel perspective as you keep moving up, and it's tough to balance for anyone. There are obviously many examples of success despite these obstacles. Tbh recruiting is just entry. After 3/4 years only 20-30% of an associate class survive. Question is who survives after 10 years.

Another interesting thing is if someone underperforms, for minorities it's always the fault of affirmative action. When it's a white guy w fratty moves and referral underperforming - no one says it as a cause

For those being grumpy about losing recruiting spot - if you are hoping to break in with 5-10% that are going to minority candidate and couldn't compete with the regular 90% - what makes you think you'll be successful enough anyway. You're probably going to be somewhere below average in the class given you didn't make it in with the vast majority.

Among all the analysts I've worked with over the years - female analysts are as good, if not better than male ones in my experience.

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Aug 11, 2018

Just to add as well... What people fail to understand is that minority based recruiting events aren't just hiring someone because of their skin color. These are very much capable individuals coming from ivy league schools, people who have started their own funds, etc. They are very much top tier applicants (but this is a discussion for another time).

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Aug 11, 2018

hopeless discussion

Aug 13, 2018

edited

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Aug 8, 2018

Not surprised by this stereotypical post given your previous low-quality, race-baiting topic

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Aug 13, 2018

edit.

Aug 8, 2018

The number of racist incels in this thread is amazing.

Aug 13, 2018

Right? Lmao

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Aug 8, 2018

It's ironic they are claiming race doesn't make it harder to do certain things in this world when they are simultaneously spouting off racist bullshit. Love it.

Aug 15, 2018
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Aug 8, 2018
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