Female traders - Rare?

m8875's picture
Rank: Senior Baboon | banana points 187

Sorry if this is a stupid question: are female traders really THAT rare? I want to be a trader and I'm female, should I just give up? Are there less female traders because less females are interested (such as in engineering) or is it simply male preferred? For traders out there, are there any female traders in your group?

Thanks.

Comments (52)

Nov 27, 2007

They aren't. And the real underlying reason is that men don't like agressive shemales and feminine women aren't agressive enough for a trading floor. It's a paradox
In S&T female gender is a negative, in IBD ethnic minority is a negative. But nobody will tell you this outright.

Wait for other responses before my sexist views get you down though. I'm sure there are still some succesful females in S&T, especially sales.

Nov 27, 2007

successful females in sales. Trading not so much.

Nov 27, 2007

" I want to be a trader and I'm female, should I just give up?"

the opposite. if you are female, and good at this gig, the sky really is the limit.

good luck.

Nov 27, 2007

First off don't give up....I was in your shoes last year

I had a SA S&T rotational offer over the past summer and deep down I knew I wanted to land a FT trading offer, but initially I thought my chances were so slim (being a female)I began convincing myself that I 'really' wanted to do sales...to make a long story short HR along with a few mentors of mine pushed me to pursue my initial dream (I have a FT offer on a trading desk).

The particular BB I was an SA and will soon be a FT supports female traders, but I can not say that all BB do. That being said females who did get offers for trading from my SA class tended to be more aggressive/quick learners/more hungry than many of their male counterparts.

If you want something go get it...Good luck!

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Best Response
Dec 7, 2016

Oh please, another affirmative action hire. Someone who managed to convince themselves they wanted to do sales is more hungry than their male counterparts...

At my bank, every female who expressed an interest for FT was hired.

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Nov 27, 2007

Just what we need...more Hilary Clintons

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Nov 27, 2007

is Angie Long. She is the head of hy trading at JPM. Became head when she was like 28 or 29, got married, popped out some kids and is back on the job. easily pulled in 10-15mm/year when the market was good.

But yeah, female traders tend to get super aggressive. You need to be since men's idea of debate/conversation is usually immense yelling and who can outyell the other. The only exception were the girls who used to be in the structured space (MBS/ABS/etc.) I met a few while I was interning and they were awesome and not scary girls at all.

Nov 27, 2007

Hey guys,

This is my first post but I've been watching the site for a while now. I'm currently in my first year working as a trading assistant for a PM in an asset management firm (value portfolio) and I want to move into trading at a BB.

Does anyone know the best way to lateral into a trading analyst program? What would be the best time of year to do this?

Thanks for the help.

Nov 27, 2007
Sway234:

Does anyone know the best way to lateral into a trading analyst program? What would be the best time of year to do this?

I don't think there is any way to make lateral move to any front office analyst programs. Recruiting for left over spots for these programs happen from sept to nov. Ideal candidates are seniors who will probably start the following jun/jul.

Nov 27, 2007

I've heard it is much easier to land a trading job as a woman, just because firms want more diversity in a male dominated profession.

Nov 27, 2007

girlytrader I bet you're from MS...quite a few female traders there.

Nov 27, 2007

maybe yes or maybe no......

Nov 27, 2007

Only one on my desk, but a few of my friends are female trading analysts. To be honest it's not really that aggressive, I think it's pretty exaggerated. Maybe it's just my firm but the traders are not the stereotypical shouting cursing sexist types, I'm not even sure they exist anymore. Seems to me that it's rare higher up but at the analyst level women are decently represented.

Nov 27, 2007

To clarify when I refer to aggressive I don't mean cursing/yelling I mean being able to have conviction, voice that conviction and prove that conviction to anyone from another analyst to a MD

Nov 27, 2007
m8875:

Sorry if this is a stupid question: are female traders really THAT rare? I want to be a trader and I'm female, should I just give up? Are there less female traders because less females are interested (such as in engineering) or is it simply male preferred? For traders out there, are there any female traders in your group?

Thanks.

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Nov 27, 2007

Thanks Posh.

I guess at this point I'm trying to figure out where or how I would move into a trading role whether it be at a BB or within my own firm. I have all my licenses but have only been exposed to trading for my PM and I'd like to gain experience on a prop desk etc. Anyone have any ideas?

Thanks for all the help. I plan on waiting a bit to try to make the move but I'm trying to get ideas now on whether it is feasible or not.

Sep 6, 2011

Anne Marie says:

Trading has great uncertainty associated with it. It's also a place that gives little to no security . . .
key elements in female psyche

Also, trading is confrontational. . . u have to stare at ur mistakes . . .
women hate that too . . . most women are avoiders

Sep 6, 2011

There are female traders, but the ones i've seen/heard of are atypical females.

Sep 7, 2011

There are several women traders where I work and they are traders, not just sales. Sure, there are more in sales but I would not be discouraged to in applying for trading roles. I'd encourage it in fact. The women that work at our office are pretty good traders.

Sep 7, 2011

gender really counts in terms of trading since females are more emotional than male. however if you believe in your self and know your edge amongst the us "male" , pursue your plans and goodluck

Sep 10, 2011

Where I did my SA, one of the top Traders was a female. Really intelligent and everyone respected her. Be smart, on the ball and friendly. No one will fuck with you. What I like about Trading is that once you're in the 'gang', no one cares about your background, gender, race, etc...

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Sep 11, 2011

All of the things said above about differences bw males and females is true on a general scale. But if you are a woman and trading is your interest theres nothing stopping you. If you can make money thats all anyone will care about. At my shop there are woman on the exotics trading desks/quant desk as well as cash equity desk.

Sep 11, 2011

Its okay to be a girl as long as your tough, I am also a girl.

Sep 12, 2011

I reckon males and females can be equally good. It's just that everyone follows the path of least resistance.

Girls are much better at smooching naturally. In an environment where clients are mostly male, girls have a even more of a natural advantage.

Generally speaking, top salespeople and traders get paid the same. Why take the stress and insecurity of trading when you can get paid for smooching? Sales can get more than technical enough to be intellectually stimulation if one is worried about being bored.

Same argument as why there aren't many women in the industry as a whole. Anyone with experience in a girl's school can tell you that girls can get WAY more aggressive than guys. Just that women find better things to do.

My two cents.

Sep 11, 2011
cacambo:

I reckon males and females can be equally good. It's just that everyone follows the path of least resistance.

Girls are much better at smooching naturally. In an environment where clients are mostly male, girls have a even more of a natural advantage.

Generally speaking, top salespeople and traders get paid the same. Why take the stress and insecurity of trading when you can get paid for smooching? Sales can get more than technical enough to be intellectually stimulation if one is worried about being bored.

Same argument as why there aren't many women in the industry as a whole. Anyone with experience in a girl's school can tell you that girls can get WAY more aggressive than guys. Just that women find better things to do.

My two cents.

I definitely agree with this statement

Sep 13, 2011

either your Female or Male bought are still regarded to be a trader. It just happened that bought side has different strategy to play the game.

Sep 13, 2011

If you want to be a trader, just go for it. For one, not a lot of female traders and firms do want diversity. So if that's your genuine interest, like Jimbo said, sky's the limit. Don't let the fact that it's a road less traveled for women to stop you.

At my old bank I met a senior trader and she said that the floor has undergone a lot of change. It's still a bit of a boys club, but not the extremes you read about in books. She also said that you do need to have thick skin and be as tough - if not tougher - than your male counterparts to be taken seriously. I think that's applicable everywhere given the nature of finance, further and further up you go. But she was highly respected by her team (mostly males) and she gained it through her results first and foremost.

I think a good idea too is to try and find a few mentors at the bank - both senior male and female traders. You want both perspectives.

Sep 14, 2011

Since everyone has the right to decide for themselves, you have to fight for what you what to do

Live you life to the fullest

Dec 30, 2013

why the fuck would you give up on what you want do because there aren't as many women in the industry? Go for it.

Dec 31, 2013

Way to bump a thread started 6 years ago.

Dec 31, 2013
euroazn:

Way to bump a thread started 6 years ago.

this

Jan 3, 2014

I know a few (from my SA gig and recruiting). In prop trading though, they're definitely a very small minority. I think that's down to fewer females with the requisite skills (excellent quant and computer skills) going for the jobs. Why that is, I'm not sure. Obviously there are fewer female Maths/CS grads, but also I think those that do exist are less likely to go for trading as a career.

In S&T, I don't know. I know two people with S&T offers for next year from BBs, one is female. As a sample size, that's not very useful really.

I very much doubt that anywhere will count being female as anything other than a plus. It's all about the skills.

Jan 3, 2014

Fuck sake, didn't realise it was necroed. I never look at the dates.

Dec 7, 2016

bump. great thread,, you could always start a daytrading accoutn and build your portfolio to demonstrate your ability.

Dec 7, 2016

Who cares about the sell side? Look at the buy side and you will see no females at all. They can't handle it.

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Dec 11, 2016

If you think you are not going to get into a job because of your gender, maybe you need to work on your confidence.

Jan 4, 2017

Ill give you extreme Anecdotal evidence: I know of a BB that was trying to decide between 2 freshly minted MBA's to get a job on a MBS desk. Even though the girl had higher test scores, she didnt get hired as the bros on the desk didnt feel comfortable making fart jokes around her.

Dec 15, 2016

I sit next to a woman trader and one of the salespeople on my desk is a woman, and another gc trader sits near me. Not very rare at all to see women on BB trading desks, especially in ny.

Dec 18, 2016

Be confident and have a sense of humour and you'll be fine. AKA, you can't be offended easily. That said, go for it! There are a bunch of girls in my trading group.

Dec 18, 2016

There are a lot of opinions going around, some are grossly inaccurate. For example, statements like 'women are more emotional' or 'only atypical females are traders.'

Let me give you the facts.

1) 15% of traders are women. Of course it is lower than PE(21%) or capital markets(26%), but still higher than what the sentiment on this thread is.

2) Females are better suited for trading. In 2014, trading simulation data was gathered on 326 interns + 400 junior traders in investment banks. Since they were juniors, they lost money on average, but females far outperformed males. Moreover, males exhibited more than twice as much 'forbidden actions,' which is trading outside of allowed time. Also, males placed higher volume of trades costing more fees for banks.

3) Females are better suited for trading, Part 2. Above research was done in London, but there are plenty of other scientific research proving this. Another such research example is one done by Chicago Booth professor Abigail Sussman. Or, you can point to the fact that females cashed out 10% less than males from early 2007 through October 2009, which means men cashed out more during the market bottoms. I can go on and on, but the bottom line is, men exhibit way more risky behaviors which are poison pills to your pnl. Stories of successful male traders tend to underrate the sheer number of failed male traders lurking in the shadows, mostly because traders only talk about their successes.

With that said, it is true that trading industry 'was' a difficult workplace for female traders when it was dominated by bunch of old-school macho traders who would fume testosterone. Due to the existence of massive floor trading and the way trading was done in the past, you had to exhibit certain aggressiveness - yell, cuss - to get things done with the broker, for a better price. Else, you would get picked off.

But those old-school traders are gradually disappearing in a fast rate with decreasing volume in the floor. If you go to the CME futures floor, most people are already gone. The only pits that are remaining are SPX and VIX pits at CBOE, which are also just a matter of time. Some of those old-school guys came upstairs to remain in the industry, and they are the ones still making the testosteronic atmosphere in the office - and aggressiveness is a contagious thing especially for men. Juniors who never even seen the pit learn the behaviors of their seniors, mimicking what seems to be 'cool,' like fraternity boys - and that's why there are still those male-dominated mentality in the trading industry.

Things, however, are rapidly getting automated, going full electronic. Nowadays and moving forward, it will be the geeks who will dominate the space. It's not cyclical, it's simply a structural, permanent change. Therefore, everything you heard about female traders being rare, etc are things in the past and does not represent the current or the future. Those are coming from a few leftover memories.

The real question you should be asking yourself is, is a human trader a valid job anymore? Already 90% of BB flow trading is done with algorithm. Even in the prop trading space, algorithm and quant trading is gaining more market share. In my opinion, the shorter the trading horizon is, the more likely it will get automated. HFT is an extreme example, while long-term investing will be on the human side for awhile. Given that 'trading' is a relatively short-term thing, even the manual prop traders from now and beyond will also be at least semi-automated, relying heavily on computers.

Therefore, bottom line is that if you're proficient in coding, algorithms, and math, you will succeed in the industry no matter what your gender is. If not, whatever success you might achieve, if any, will be short-lived. I know many old-school guys will resist my idea, arguing that there are still values in human judgement, and yes, I agree with them to certain extent but that only applies when you're investing mid to long term horizon. Not in trading anymore. If you can write down your trading strategy in a logical flow, then it can be written in a code. If you can't write it down, then it's probably not a valid trading strategy. (Although I must admit that there are few guys who really have a great gut that somehow they make money out of unexplained intuition - but don't count on you being one of those rarities)

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Dec 19, 2016

No not that much rare. Its true women don't go for a business which have lots of highs and lows. But women are taking steps to challenge the myths. - Susan Nair ( epic research )

Jan 2, 2017

Female traders I work against(buy or sell to), always get the best of me and I thank them.

I don't care about stats, etc., fact is female traders are excellent. If you're a female and made it to trading, I do not want to work against you. I usually avoid them, they always win.

Jan 2, 2017

In energy female traders aren't rare at all. They range from executors, cash traders all the way up to the top (think Blythe Masters).

If you work on a prop desk that wouldn't welcome female traders your desk is doomed as you aren't greedy enough. On a properly run desk the risk is allocated to whomever stands the best chance of making money. This is you see so many quirky people allocated risk - their ability to make money makes their quirks irrelevant.

On the whole topic of are men or women better suited to be traders the fact is that the vast majority of people are too risk adverse and willing to lie to themselves to ever be successful. The pool of people who can manage risk successfully is so small that I'm not sure you could draw meaningful conclusions about its gender split.

Jan 5, 2017

If you are a woman with the exact same positive trader characteristics as a male, you will be more likely to get the job due to aff action.

That said, if you were raised in the 90s it's very unlikely that you'd have been brought up in such a way that would be conducive to developing such characteristics/skills - that's why you see less female traders.

It will change in time, but you can't affirmative action your way out of the fact that in the 90s we brought up girls to be emotional and directed them to studies and professions that are no good for things like trading/engineering/physics etc.

Jan 5, 2017

Help make the desk money, you can be a tranny no one cares. Don't screw up stuff, don't fudge the PnL. Be somewhat social, I really don't know where you get that there is a negative stereotype to female traders or interns. Most MDs/VPs I know would love a good looking female intern, but they are really hard to find since very few are interested in the role and are able to succeed at it.

Most female interns I have met are usually super rockstars or suck and freak out if someone yells at them, I do not know why they would even try trading to begin with.

Jan 5, 2017

While being a female can potentially make it harder to break in, once your in you can definitely use it to your advantage. Once you are on the desk, if you have a good rapport with your team and fit in well, you will be at an advantage over your equally performing male peers. This is because there are so few women on the trading floor, they take advantage of opportunities to bring them in if they can get the job done. This is ESPECIALLY true if they are good looking. MD's love a good looking female trader as long as she gets shit done.

You will be fine, go in, work your ass off, pay close attention to detail, and make sure you socialize with all your male counterparts. Be a part of the team, rather than feeling like an outcast and you will find yourself in great shape.

Good luck!

Sep 13, 2011

The women I have met in trading, and I mean ones that are quite senior (VP and up) are all superstars. I'm going to say be it trading or in banking, you'll have to work as hard, if not harder, to be recognized. But once people do recognize you and your talents, you would stand out vs. your male peers since there's a lot fewer women traders given the nature of the job.

Just be prepared to tough it out in the industry. There's a bit of a double standard (e.g., women shouting = bitch, man shouting = making his presence known)... but this won't apply for an analyst anyway. Just be humble, do the work, be proactive in learning the job and markets, and like Billy mentioned above, socialize with the group and be part of the team. Honestly... if a group comes across a smart girl that knows her shit, can get along with people and can handle the job's pressures, they'll want to bring her in for a nice team mix. No one likes a sausage fest.

Jan 5, 2017

BAR it is... Adehbone's last comment is a sincere one - you have to accept any criticism in stride. You'd get that whichever job that you decided to take.

If you want to trade - sex does not matter. It's all about "IDEAS" and being in tune with whatever markets you will be interning on. There will be a lot of sexual innuendos - don't feel threatened, get mad or go off and cry. You're in a man's world now - it is what it is. The guys will tease and play with whom they like. The guys will yell and that's based upon 1) you really messed up or 2) something went wrong with the trade. Concentrate, ask questions, be tough and never pull the "I'm a girl" trick.

The key to life is to follow your passions.

P.S. I'm a female trader.

Jan 5, 2017
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Jan 5, 2017
Jan 5, 2017