11/27/07

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 (44)

11/27/07

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.

Financial Modeling

11/27/07

successful females in sales. Trading not so much.

11/27/07

" 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.

11/27/07

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!

Best Response
12/7/16

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.

11/27/07

Just what we need...more Hilary Clintons

11/27/07

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.

11/27/07

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.

11/27/07
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.

11/27/07

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.

11/27/07

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

11/27/07

maybe yes or maybe no......

Financial Modeling

11/27/07

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.

11/27/07

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

11/27/07
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.

Do you look like Kelly??

http://www.sprott.com/companyinfo/trading.php

11/27/07

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.

9/6/11

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

9/6/11

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

9/7/11

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.

9/7/11

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

9/10/11

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...

9/11/11

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.

9/11/11

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

9/12/11

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.

9/12/11
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

9/13/11

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.

9/13/11

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.

9/14/11

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

12/30/13

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.

12/31/13

Way to bump a thread started 6 years ago.

12/31/13

euroazn:

Way to bump a thread started 6 years ago.

this

1/3/14

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.

1/3/14

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

12/7/16

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

12/7/16

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

12/11/16

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

1/4/17

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.

12/15/16

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.

12/18/16

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.

12/18/16

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)

12/19/16

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 )

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