Has the pendulum swung too far?

I created a new account for obvious reasons. For background, I am a member of my bank's (bulge bracket) analyst recruitment team.

I just found out that before the actual recruitment process even starts, we have already hired ~60% of our summer analyst class through diversity and women's programs.

I wanted to get this forum's opinion on whether or not you think the pendulum has swung too far, and if the deck is becoming too stacked against men and non-diversity hires. And if so, if you think there's anything that we can do about it, especially given the difficulties of speaking about this issue openly.

I want to flag that I am a very big supporter of equality of opportunity. I would also feel much more comfortable if this "affirmative action" were done on the basis of class / wealth distribution as opposed to superficial characteristics.

Edit: One thing I forgot to mention in my original post, was that for the remaining ~40% of summer analyst hires, we were strongly encouraged to consider diversity in our assessment of candidates. Therefore, I assume these remaining hires will also be overweight women and diversity candidates.

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Comments (262)

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Aug 14, 2021 - 1:05pm

Okay prospect, I'm sure your anecdotes are 1) true; and 2) representative of all investment banks.

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Aug 16, 2021 - 9:37pm

Astrosfan88

This is flat out wrong. Ive heard of so many black kids resumes being thrown out after the recruiters saw they were black on linkedin. IB is still extremely racist in hiring and hires 95% rich white kids.

You have zero evidence that they were thrown out "because they were black". It could be millions of things but you choose to focus on race. If a resume was good and a firm sees a candidate that will make them money with their skillset and experience, you think they'd care about color of skin? Delusional and probably pay attention to the race baiting media too much.

Aug 20, 2021 - 1:00am

So totally false. Any bank worth mentioning does quite the opposite actually.

  • Prospect in IB - Gen
Aug 13, 2021 - 5:35pm

Couldn't have said it any better. People who advocate for "diversity" say that because certain subsects have been less fortunate with opportunities in the past, they need to now be given preferential treatment. So because certain groups were punished for immutable characteristics in the past means we have to punish the other groups for immutable characteristics in the present? Two wrongs don't make a right. People in the present are not responsible for racism or sexism that took place long before we were even born. The point is we should focus on the progress that has come since those bad periods of history, not punish people who did nothing wrong to create some artificial "equal" playing field.

People should be chosen on merit alone. I do not care whether you're blue, black, brown, white, orange, identify as a squid, or a he she that changes gender when the moon comes out. If you're the most qualified for the job, you should get it. People who advocate for "diversity" only care about variety in physical characteristics, never of actual thought. Everyone could think the same but look different and "diversity" advocates would be perfectly okay with that. The fact of the matter is when you go completely on merit, there might not be that much "diversity" in the hired applicants. That's okay though. Doesn't mean that there's racism or sexism involved. Just that there might not be enough qualified applicants in the pool for those specific groups.

If there is to be any sort of affirmative action type approach in job recruiting, then I think it should only be based on socioeconomic factors. A rich black kid should not get an advantage over a poor Asian/white kid simply because he's black. FYI, I'm not white btw so don't even come at me with that white privilege bullshit.

Aug 14, 2021 - 2:57pm

People in the present are not responsible for racism or sexism that took place long before we were even born.

Lol i love hearing this banal argument. The funny thing is you people never complain about all the advantages you were given and that were built up by prior generations. If you were not responsible for your parents' or grandparents' having accumulated a large stock portfolio or having acquired multiple properties to be passed down to you, then why would you accept it as inheritance and benefit from it? You weren't responsible for it, so you shouldn't be touching it!!!

Posts like yours make it so clear that nothing is going to change without a revolution. For the next 50 years it'll be the same crap about white people saying "I didn't do it, not my problem!" until minorities get so frustrated that they go French revolution on the US or similar country.

  • Analyst 1 in CorpFin
Aug 18, 2021 - 2:40pm

I agree on this statement - people should be chose on merit alone. 

We don't see NFL/NBA or whatever sports that do a diversity program. Why should IB any different. 

Statistically/genetically speaking Asians are smarter on average. So why are they getting screwed in recruiting but not benefiting in sports? That doesn't sound too fair. 

Aug 14, 2021 - 2:05pm

I guess you don't want to work for GS, MS, JPM, KKR, BX, etc 👉🏾👈🏾🥶

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  • Intern in IB-M&A
Aug 13, 2021 - 8:40am
:

I want to flag that I am a very big supporter of equality of opportunity.

No need to add some disclaimer to say that you're not a wrongthinker bro, we're not on Reddit.

Aug 13, 2021 - 9:14am

Because it tells you little to nothing about their individual experiences. In my view, we should strive to treat people fairly as individuals, and not based on one's racial/gender/sexual etc. group identity. However, as I mentioned in my OP, I am supportive of some affirmative action policy based on socio-economics, which I do think plays an important role in one's access to opportunity. 

Controversial
Aug 13, 2021 - 9:53am

I think socio-economic diversity is just as important. But being a woman, even if rich, provides a different experience simply because of that identity versus a man and I think similar if one is black (no matter how culturally whitewashed they may be) they make it easier for the next black person to see themselves pursuing a career that is essentially a ticket to the upper class.

And 60% isn't that crazy either once you accept BBs want 50% of their class to be women, meaning the remaining 10% is LGBTQ+Hispanic+black men (that trio of men makes up nearly 1/6 of the US population ~17%).

TLDR: banks Want certain demographics, no different from colleges, etc. being poor is unfortunately not included but there is value (how much is debatable but it exists) in having separate processes so the final classes of banks aren't 80%+ white asian males

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Aug 13, 2021 - 9:08am

I'm curious, but why isn't first gen college student/low income apart of the diversity program?I get that racial diversity/being socially conscious is really important, but if you say you want to have a more productive group/ be able to have unique ideas, wouldn't socioeconomic status be more weighted upon?How can a rich Hispanic guy/girl who went to Andover Wharton (with affluent and wealthy parents) be different than a that of a white guy/girl? Beyond just their ethnicity/color of their skin, many of them talk and think the same. Why does one get rewarded over the other?I could be biased since I'm first gen/low income Asian male, but I don't think my points are invalid

Aug 13, 2021 - 9:45am

Because it's

1) not typically classified as diversity and wealth isn't something you consider to be permanently tied to ones identity (like being a woman or black)

2) there's plenty of poor people recruiting already although I agree they are underserved

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Aug 14, 2021 - 8:32pm

I'm curious, but why isn't first gen college student/low income apart of the diversity program?I get that racial diversity/being socially conscious is really important, but if you say you want to have a more productive group/ be able to have unique ideas, wouldn't socioeconomic status be more weighted upon?How can a rich Hispanic guy/girl who went to Andover Wharton (with affluent and wealthy parents) be different than a that of a white guy/girl? Beyond just their ethnicity/color of their skin, many of them talk and think the same. Why does one get rewarded over the other?I could be biased since I'm first gen/low income Asian male, but I don't think my points are invalid

How would a socioeconomic status factor even work in seeking FT employment?

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Aug 14, 2021 - 8:46pm

I was talking more about the diversity programs early in ones' college career.  I think exploratory programs should at least include low-income first-gen students. 

A good example of a program inclusive to all races and being very diverse is questbridge. My class was extremely diverse(It was majority asian/hispanic/black, but a good portion was also white) and almost everyone went to a school they wanted to go to(50+ T20 and many had their tuitions 100% covered). The requirements to join the program were based on socioeconomic status. Not race.

  • Incoming Analyst in IB - Gen
Aug 16, 2021 - 5:48pm

It's for show. Show the public a pic of your summer analyst class and they like seeing physical diversity. No one can tell you are first gen from a pic of you.

  • VP in IB - Gen
Aug 13, 2021 - 9:08am

Minority here but the kind that no one cares about.  So we get excluded from diversity recruiting but also the nepotism of the connected kids whose parents are connected.  But yeah, it's swung too far - if I ran a firm, the most I'd be willing to do is hire the minority if having to choose between two equal candidates.  But I guess the point is that if you don't start subsidizing minorities through hiring, then you'll reinforce the same gender / racial mix for future generations of hiring and change will only occur at a glacial pace.  So essentially unbalancing it today to speed up the pace of balancing down the road.  I'm a little more jaded because I had to claw my way in here and I see other more desirable minorities get a free pass but whatever.

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Aug 13, 2021 - 9:18am

Do you have any advice for Asian straight males during recruiting? If someone reaches out to you and there non-alum but Asian male, would you still be inclined to respond?

  • VP in IB - Gen
Aug 13, 2021 - 12:19pm

I'm brown - never grew up in that part of the world though.  I for sure get more brown guys hitting me up than any other race, I don't frankly care what race you are but I care about your approach.  If you come across as weird or entitled then I'm ignoring you.  Like I don't owe you anything extra because we're both the same approximate race...I don't have any advice for you in terms of recruiting other than to do the best you can.  Obstacles are there whether you blame them for your failures or not, at the end of the day you're the one who has to take care of your own path.  All that time you spend wondering if your situation would be different if you were gay or a woman or some other 'cool' minority is time you can otherwise spend biting down and moving forward.  One thing I will say is that to the extent possible, your speech and mannerisms should definitely emulate more of the privileged caucasian kid than being fobby or outwardly Asian / Indian.  HR might be delighted if you have an outwardly West African accent because they can throw you on a stage and have you tell them how awesome and inclusive the bank is but having an Asian or Chinese accent is absolutely not as welcomed.

Aug 13, 2021 - 9:24am

Its hard to say when the pendulum swings too far in one direction. 

God knows there will never be a situation in 1000 years where placements are based on merit alone, this is a "water is wet" level fact yet you will still have fresh crops of analysts every year who take umbrage with the idea of a minority having a stark advantage over a run of the mill white, or even worse an asian. 

I think the system is clearly unfair, but it has always been clearly unfair. The real question is will the system suffer due to these changes, and I think it will not. 

IB is an industry that takes some baseline of aptitude, but it is very clearly an industry that doesn't require rocket science intelligence. Top students don't go into it because it requires Rhodes scholar level intellect, they go into it because of the money and prestige. One thing that is clear though is that bankers don't need to be particularly smart (I am not smart so this isn't a dig), they need to be driven. Attention to detail, meticulous nature, being able to pull all nighters. Banking is a lot of things, but none of us have ever fooled ourselves into thinking it is intellectually challenging. Back in the day I thought I could break into banking because I was a video game addict - I had no illusions about my intelligence. 

So new candidates are being filtered in using sometimes arbitrary criteria (think instead of less reliance on legacy and fit, the new criteria is diversity. It is arbitrary, but these people will still do a fine job at completing the job. They will still succeed. And IB will still get business (because honestly as a client shopping at a more diverse firm may be the next dick measuring contest, who knows. 

Its easy to get bitter as a wonder-bread white boy from a poorer background, but I have better things to do. There have always been arbitrary criteria for channeling "ideal" candidates into IB, and there always will be. Losing a seat to Chet from Connecticut feels just as bad as losing a seat to some Nigerian dude. 

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Aug 13, 2021 - 9:52am

whoever is smart enough to use the diversity card to get a job at a bank - prob has family knowledgeable of jobs in banking, which is a privilege. 

I'm all for men's rights. It should be 50/50. The pendulum is too far. If banks rlly want to be "fair", maybe they should expose kids to banking who haven't been exposed to this field before, like in high school, regardless of race or gender. 

Aug 13, 2021 - 11:09am

just like the market can stay irrational longer than you can stay solvent, the pendulum can swing farther than the laws of physics should allow. this will continue for a few more years until HR as a whole changes, which is much slower moving as those folks have to CONSTANTLY justify their existence given their lack of revenue generation

Aug 13, 2021 - 11:15am

I think it's more common amongst larger institutions. In my corporate company, we got so many of diversity/equality emails last year it made me often eye-roll. I'm all about it too but some of these so called optional teams meetings seemed a bit extreme. 

My parents run a family business and is a small enough where they didn't have to really deal with any of this since all their employees are happy (they pay above market for the roles they hire for but never talk politics/social problems at work).

  • Associate 1 in S&T - Other
Aug 13, 2021 - 12:33pm

I was a part of a resume screening at a BB. We went through the resumes, pulling out ones for students we met at recruiting events who made a good impression. These students were to be given first round interviews.
 

After finishing the list, the HR person informed us that it was "lacking diversity" and maybe we should add some additional diversity candidates. So we proceeded to put resumes into the "yes" pile of people who no one met. 
 

Another time, my school's recruiting team was interviewing candidates. The feedback for one candidate was consistently below average, but "because diversity stats impact our school's interview allocation," we "reevaluated."

I'm considered diversity and am all for it. However, diversity of skin color and sex are pretty superficial. A black and white male from west Chester have much more in common and are less diverse in a workplace than do a white male from west Chester vs a white male from Arkansas. In the anecdotes that I mentioned, it seems to skew away from providing equal opportunity and more toward providing equal outcome

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Aug 13, 2021 - 1:09pm

It is perplexing to me that anybody would seriously defend making hiring decisions based on the level of melanin in a candidate's skin, their chromosomes, their sexual preferences and/or their gender identity.

The idea that these factors make us fundamentally different has caused immense suffering and unjust treatment, and if we don't make a conscious effort towards making these non-factors, things are unlikely to change for the better.

  • Associate 2 in IB - CB
Aug 13, 2021 - 5:47pm

As a state school grad from the Midwest with all grandparents and my dad having been union workers (before my dad got his degree), hell yes.

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Aug 13, 2021 - 9:58pm

Lmao. Diversity children who have familial connections in banking, consulting, and private equity gets double the privilege and benefits. For low income/no familial connections  white/asian straight males, we get none of the benefits LOL

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Aug 13, 2021 - 11:41pm

No can we keep the nepotism? I want to be able to hook up my kid if he meets me halfway

  • Associate 3 in PE - LBOs
Aug 13, 2021 - 1:59pm

It definitely has. I've also been in the room for hiring discussions where candidates' "diversity" characteristics were brought up and used to get them an interview, advance to the next round, place them on this team instead of that team. Pretty sure it was illegal (HR of all should know better) but that's our world today. Any affirmative action should be strictly based on economic background. It's a disadvantage not having grown up playing golf, or skiing, studying abroad, etc.

Aug 13, 2021 - 2:41pm

Diversity programs are a flawed solution to a real problem.

The problem is real in that white (& Asian) males are highly overrepresented in certain fields, like banking. Unless you think that there is some reason why 90% of white & Asian males should be able to do this job well while only 10% of black women, this means that banking is probably losing some talent to other fields (the 89th percentile woman is not applying for the job, or is not getting hired, while the 11th percentile guy is).

The solution is flawed in that being poor is a far heavier anchor than being black or female. So the black women and hispanic men who are getting hired are probably going to be those who had money to begin with, leaving the ones who need help the most behind.

Look at the difference in household income levels between different types of black and Asian Americans. Compare second generation Nigerian Americans, to their classmates whose ancestors were brought over as slaves. Look at the kids and grandkids of Vietnamese refugees and compare them to the children of more recent Chinese immigrants. Same skin color, different outcome.

  • Associate 1 in IB - Restr
Aug 13, 2021 - 3:04pm

Wow. Non-targets legitimately have almost no chance. If 60% of slots are filled before the target school hardos can even start interviewing, good luck to anyone else who even wants a sniff at an interview. 

Women's programs are by definition discriminatory if there are a certain amount of seats designated to women-only hires and they are eliminating 50% of the population from contention for said seats.

Diversity programs are also discriminatory if candidates of particular races are actively being giving precedence over others. 

Merit hiring of course is good and fair, but if banks want to give underprivileged candidates a shot, they need to look at economic background - not surface level identifiers like race and gender. All these programs do it continue to skew the candidate pool to more affluent people, however now there will just be more rich girls and rich minorities instead of rich white boys. 

Give the kids who never got to go on vacation a shot.

Give the kids who don't have a beach house a shot 

Give the kids who who had summer jobs in high school a shot 

Give the kids who don't have a trust fund a shot 

Give the kids who actually have to pay their own rent a shot 

Give the kids who have student loans a shot 

I mean seriously - there are enough rich kids who went to the same 10 colleges and same 5 northeast prep high schools. If the banks want real diversity of thought and background, then give actual underprivileged kids a chance. For all the smart people who work in finance, I seriously cannot believe how colossally dumb it is that some people think that giving advantages based off of superficial physical qualities is actually improving anything.    

Aug 13, 2021 - 3:20pm

In a few years, being white, male and heterosexual will be considered an offense. 

I've never even given attention to the sexuality, race of gender of a person. But the last couple of years of media and the general environment trying to push down our throat all these diversity, gay pride and similar initiatives is just making me hate them a little bit every day... if it continues like this, I see myself as a racist/homophobic POS and it would have been created by them LOL

  • VP in IB - Gen
Aug 13, 2021 - 10:48pm

If that's enough to turn you into a racist / homophobe, it's time to do some soul searching because I have news for you, you might already be one 

Aug 13, 2021 - 4:12pm

I consider it from two points of view:

1) Is it wrong to push weaker candidates just because of their sex and race? Yes. So, yes, it is sad to see these discriminatory practices to be so widely supported and embraced.

2) I am assuming you are a white man who is already in the industry, right? So, as a white man who is already in the industry, it is actually good for you to keep all these practices running. Yes, you heard me right. It is good for you. Why? Because there will be less wealthy white men, and men in general, to compete with in a dating scene. Women want to date men who are well off. You are already in the industry. You are well off. Don't let other men to get in the industry. Keep them poor. And you will have barely any competition. All girls will be yours ;)

Aug 13, 2021 - 6:29pm

Your comment is kind of tongue and cheek but there is an element of truth in it. I hated diversity admissions when I was a college applicant but I love it after getting accepted. AA makes it hard for an Asian or white male to get in. But once they make it in, they are competing against less qualified minorities who were given a leg up. (These minorities are still smart, but obviously the Asian kids had to go through a tougher process.) What happens then is that some (not all) diversity students have a tougher time handling the coursework and end up doing poorly or switching to an easier, non-lucrative major. AA has had a horrible effect on everyone involved.

  • Intern in PE - LBOs
Aug 14, 2021 - 6:07pm

Stanford student here. Asian from a lower-class midwest background. I was obviously before AA before getting admitted. But the funniest thing is talking with all these other white/asian students, usually upper-class, who were against AA before getting admitted. Now that they're students, they all act like they have this sudden realization or growth in maturity which makes them realize how AA actually improves their educational experience and is good for the college. I'm like, "No motherfucker. You're just embracing the status quo because it doesn't have any personal consequences and it makes your admissions journey sound more exclusive/selective/prestigious." Just sharing something weird/funny that I've noticed. And I will always be against race-based affirmative action, the fact that I am a liberal and far-left on pretty much anything else doesn't change this.

  • Prospect in Consulting
Aug 14, 2021 - 8:09am

ms me all you want, you know i'm right. nobody cares that their portfolio manager is minority lgbtq BIPOC, only thing that matters is fund performance and the ONLY determinant of that is competency not skin color or sexual orientation

  • Prospect in IB - Gen
Aug 14, 2021 - 11:58am

Yeah no shit the best will always make it, but 99% of people on here have no ambition of becoming the next Ackman or Burry. Most people I know in banking just wanted a really good paying job and had an interest in the field, but it's painfully obvious that diversity kids who are oftentimes less qualified have a huge leg up with way less competition and earlier recruiting timelines.

Aug 15, 2021 - 5:32am

This comment reminds me of when politicians on twitter forget to switch to their diverse alt account before agreeing with themselves.

"There's a reason why most successful fund managers are white males (i'm a minority)" lmaoo

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Aug 13, 2021 - 6:34pm

Interested to hear peoples thoughts on hiring initiatives towards veterans. I think it makes a ton of sense and as a veteran myself I was really excited to learn that so many financial firms were willing to level with me about my experiences.

Aug 13, 2021 - 7:00pm

it only makes sense to support these initiatives. people are signing up to risk their lives to protect others. makes total sense to pay them back with some perks.

  • Intern in IB - Cov
Aug 13, 2021 - 7:47pm

Being a veteran is different because nearly everyone can become a veteran through service. I don't know of anyone that can become another race or gender.

  • Associate 1 in IB - Cov
Aug 13, 2021 - 11:08pm

Also a vet and am against all forms of diversity programs, including veterans initiatives.  See literally no reason for it.  Serious note too as someone with an above average gmat score I'm not trying to have people think I just got places because of diversity/vet stuff.  Surprising more smart black guys don't feel that way too.  If I was a black dude with a 780 gmat (I didn't score that high but just using a number) I'd be like wtf these dudes all think I got here just for being black

Aug 18, 2021 - 12:09pm

This whole country is a liberal echo chamber.  You're blind if you think otherwise

Significant majorities of large corporations, academia, the media (a little less so here with Fox and radio), Hollywood and other cultural institutions are liberal echo chambers.  Thus, "popular culture" feels like an echo chamber.  The country is definitively not - Trump won 2,588 counties to Biden's 551.  

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Aug 13, 2021 - 8:49pm

Equality of opportunity vs Equality of outcome (Opportunity vs Equity or Capitalism vs Communism)

Everyone, through hard work, natural talent or desire should be afforded the same opportunities regardless.  Dont care if you are white, black, green, man, woman, gay, etc.  Best people i have ever worked with are what today called a protected class.  They were the best at their positions and were promoted accordingly.

The main issue, in my opinion, is allowing ALL people without ECONOMIC means to get a fair shake. 

Equity on the other hand is Animal Farm.  It is the forced result of social engineering in which the ruling class picks winners and losers and ignores freedom, individual sovereignty, meritocracy and basic human rights.

Yes, the pendulum has gone WAY too far.  My biggest fear is what happens when it swings the other way.

Namaste.

D.O.U.G.

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  • Prospect in IB - Gen
Aug 15, 2021 - 5:48pm

I don't even believe in equality of opportunity. I'm not gonna act like someone who grows up in the ghetto has the same opportunities as a rich kid. But like you said, it's never someone else's responsibility to fill the gap. As the great Thomas Sowell said, the same man isn't equal to himself on different days. We are not equal beings. We will not have equal outcomes. Hard work and determination will get you to what you want or at least close to it. It may take longer than others to get what you want, but it's out there. And life itself is unfair. Not everyone will be successful because some people make bad decisions consciously and don't put in the effort to change their circumstances. Jimmy Butler was a homeless kid and was able to become a multimillionaire top athlete in the NBA. There's many other situations of people starting at the absolute lowest and having mobility through their hard work. It's nobody else's responsibility to help you but yourself. Like Bill gates said, "If you are born poor its not your mistake, but if you die poor its your mistake."

Aug 13, 2021 - 9:00pm

so much hand-wringing about "hiring the best people" and "treating everyone equally regardless of demographic" and somehow the answer is always "we need to reduce/cut diversity programs"

- we've seen no discernible detriment to banks' performance. diversity programs have been around for awhile now and banks are making more than ever

- women and minorities still face higher levels of discrimination within banks compared to white men. i guess if you just reduce the number of women and minorities they cant be discriminated against lol

- for every woman or minority who wasn't well-suited for this job that was hired thru a diversity program, there are 5 white men who were hired via daddy's money. this is an exaggeration, but idk why mediocrity is only something we discuss when it comes to diversity programs, and not when it comes to the number of mediocre white men failing up thru the ranks

in my experience, the mediocre woman or minority is easier to work with, because they usually understand they're not great at their job. the mediocre white man always thinks theyre the smartest guy in the room.

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Aug 13, 2021 - 11:00pm

Yeah. It is funny how no one speaks about those who effectivly get these jobs handed to them who inevidably rise to the level of their own incompetency. The Michael Scotts of the world if you will.

Aug 13, 2021 - 11:03pm

diversity programs have been around for awhile now and banks are making more than ever

Yeah no shit because the economy has grown for a multitude of reasons. No one said the banks would go bankrupt if they start diversity programs.

for every woman or minority who wasn't well-suited for this job that was hired thru a diversity program, there are 5 white men who were hired via daddy's money

How do you know this? Any statistics like the one OP has provided? Btw, people on the forum have complained about nepotism hiring. Bringing up nepotism every time we talk about AA is just deflecting the issue.

in my experience, the mediocre woman or minority is easier to work with, because they usually understand they're not great at their job. the mediocre white man always thinks theyre the smartest guy in the room.

Yeah nice profiling. Apparently stereotyping minorities and women is bad and warrants a diversity push, but it's okay if we do it for white people.

Aug 15, 2021 - 1:53am

Yeah no shit because the economy has grown for a multitude of reasons. No one said the banks would go bankrupt if they start diversity programs.

so you agree - the quality of analysts doesn't matter nearly as much as external economic conditions to banks' financial performance. banks need warm bodies who are willing to work 80+ hrs a week, not the next stephen schwarzman. so why give a fuck about hiring the "best" talent, if banks are able to optimize for metrics like diversity without materially impacting their performance?

How do you know this? Any statistics like the one OP has provided?

literally the only statistic OP has in his post is that 60% of SA positions are filled by women and minorities. he has not provided additional statistical proof on why this is a bad thing, just lots of hand-wringing about perceived discrimination against white men and a downgrade in analyst quality

Yeah nice profiling. Apparently stereotyping minorities and women is bad and warrants a diversity push, but it's okay if we do it for white people.

im just speaking on my experience as a minority, working with white men lol if you're not that mediocre white man on the dunning-kruger curve, we won't have any issues :)

  • Associate 1 in IB - Cov
Aug 13, 2021 - 11:14pm

throwingawaying123

so much hand-wringing about "hiring the best people" and "treating everyone equally regardless of demographic" and somehow the answer is always "we need to reduce/cut diversity programs"

- we've seen no discernible detriment to banks' performance. diversity programs have been around for awhile now and banks are making more than ever

- women and minorities still face higher levels of discrimination within banks compared to white men. i guess if you just reduce the number of women and minorities they cant be discriminated against lol

- for every woman or minority who wasn't well-suited for this job that was hired thru a diversity program, there are 5 white men who were hired via daddy's money. this is an exaggeration, but idk why mediocrity is only something we discuss when it comes to diversity programs, and not when it comes to the number of mediocre white men failing up thru the ranks

in my experience, the mediocre woman or minority is easier to work with, because they usually understand they're not great at their job. the mediocre white man always thinks theyre the smartest guy in the room.

Lol check out this clown.  All feelings no facts

  • Prospect in IB - Gen
Aug 15, 2021 - 5:56pm

Yup lol. Would love to see any sort of proof of this 5 mediocre white men for every 1 mediocre diversity kid. But obviously there isn't. It's just conjured out of thin air to completely deflect from the actual issue. No one supports nepotism hires either, but the focus is on diversity programs here. Not even white either lol 

Aug 13, 2021 - 10:52pm

sounds -- no joke -- like the scapegoating of Jews right before they got genocided by the Nazi's

Nice, I was waiting for this one. You've got it switched up buddy. Jews were highly represented in the most lucrative professions in Germany, from banking and medicine to business and law. And this is despite the rampant anti-semitism that existed in Europe. The Jewish people's massive success and power bred malice, jealousy and suspicion from the natives. Fast forward a few decades, and we see that white and Asian males are highly represented in lucrative fields like banking. They are then accused of having "privilege" and putting up "systemic barriers" against the other groups, claims backed by zero facts and evidence, and now the application process is tilted against their favor. Now that they are complaining about a less meritocratic process, they are Nazis?!!!! Get a clue. 

No one is saying that minorities are "stealin'" jobs that we "deserve". We just want a more merit-based application process. But of course you're a Nazi if you want that. 

Aug 13, 2021 - 10:24pm

Agree with the majority of the group that diversity based on gender/skin color are superficial. But, the point of diversity to the economic benefit of all involved is in the diversity of thought. It has been proven through numerous studies that the highest performing teams/groups/businesses have diversity in what the different members of that organization bring to the table. The overarching theme of these studies, though, is that these high-performing units were made up of an amalgam of minorities and females, more so than your standard group (which was obviously mostly comprised of suburban white dudes). The powers that be use these inputs and the macro environment of social equality to make a blanket goal of hiring more females, LGBTQ, and minorities, regardless of whether they tick the boxes of providing a different perspective than their straight white male counterparts. 

I am in agreement that the pendulum has swung too far, but only in the sense that diversity of thought has been superficially replaced with diversity of skin color, gender, and sexual identity/preference. It's a good thing to try to get diversity in the workplace - taking the most qualified ("best") person for the job is not always the best for the company because you need diverse perspectives to achieve better outcomes (see studies for those that may disagree) - but artificially inflating diversity based on the criteria mentioned is far from the most intelligent or equitable way to solve the problem. 

Aug 14, 2021 - 9:29am

I 100% agree that diversity of thought is the ultimate goal here. However, why focus solely on superficial group identity characteristics, when we have access to the information for actual diversity of experience? Is the candidate an engineer / science major? Do they speak multiple languages? Are they a veteran? Etc. Etc. By focusing only on race / gender etc., you could theoretically be choosing BIPOC / women candidates all from the same upper middle class neighborhood, who went to Ivy leagues etc.

Also, it seems like even questioning this diversity / equity agenda would likely get you fired (or at the very least be subject to some serious "bias" training). So don't think that these social justice types in corporate HR / communications are really seeking diversity of thought here, as opposed to virtue signaling / appeasing their white guilt.

And based on my anecdotal experience, the BIPOC people at my bank / university didn't like to be considered the "diversity" person. And they would also obviously have to deal with [justified] claims that they got their position over more qualified candidates because of the color of their skin.   

Aug 14, 2021 - 12:28am

For all the hand-wringing about minorities and women on this site, I still see way more white rich bros in finance than literally any other demographic. Coming from a target, all finance classes were predominantly populated by white and Asian students - before even accounting for socioeconomic status. Literally in one class of hundreds of students I could count the number of female BIPOC (excluding Asian) students on one hand. If my school was that tilted towards affluent white/Asian students in finance classes alone, how effective could diversity initiatives possibly be at this point? Not sure what BB OP is at because most of the banks I know (including the one I work at) are still majority white males, followed by white/Asian people. So there's not even any meaningful diversity at most levels in any sense yet, particularly beyond analysts. And still people complain about affirmative action every other post here? Truly unfortunate. I'm an Asian middle class male so I have all the right in the world to rail against affirmative action but you don't need to be that toxic. Lift up other people. Don't buy into the "POC/immigrants/etc are just stealing our jobs and culture" - it's just fearmongering. IMO the people you should care about are the ultra-wealthy who are only enriching themselves, but that's another convo. But tl;dr no, diversity/affirmative action is not the source of all your recruiting woes. Get a grip.

Aug 14, 2021 - 9:44am

Hey snarf, thanks for providing your opinion. 

You may have missed the part of my OP where I quoted that ~60% of the summer analyst spots had already been given to diversity / women program hires. And for the remaining ~40%, we have been encouraged to strongly consider diversity in our assessment. Therefore, I'm not sure I understand your point that this is just fear mongering. You are clearly at a serious disadvantage if you happen to be white / man / straight / cisgender etc. regardless of your actual qualifications for the job. 

I agree we should be trying to lift everyone up, but why can't this be done based on socioeconomics vs. on superficial group identity (as I mentioned in my OP)? In my view, this is the best way to address disparities within groups and "lift all boats", without encouraging tribalism / zero sum thinking between genders / races / sexualities etc.

And I don't think affirmative action at the hiring level is necessarily the best solution. Ideally we can improve the educational outcomes of lower socioeconomic areas, and increase awareness of career opportunities within finance / tech / law etc. Over time this would hopefully improve disparities across groups, while still being able to hire based on merit.

Aug 14, 2021 - 2:18pm

Appreciate the dialogue. While I agree it's harder than ever for white (and maybe Asian) straight males to recruit for finance I don't necessarily see that as a bad thing. Since it's inception high finance has been dominated by white men for decades and people on this site have just accepted that nepotism as a part of life. But the minute women and minorities get more representation (or god forbid, overrepresentation!) people on this site lose their mind. I don't think diversity should be used as the primary factor but all else being equal, why shouldn't women/minorities get offered a seat over an equally qualified white man? We love to gatekeep being an IB analyst but it's not like GPA, mastery of three statements, etc. has any significant correlation with being a good analyst. We all know how brain dead the job is. I also really wish that socioeconomic background and/or being first gen played a bigger role in recruiting. Diversity kind of misses the point when you just recruit a lot of international kids or rich BIPOC/women. But we can have both! We can recruit for socioeconomic AND racial/gender/LGBTQ/etc diversity at the same time. So no, having the majority of the class pre-filled with diversity hires isn't an issue for me. If anything, lmk which bank it is and I'll consider it for a lateral move - y'all seem to be doing much more for diversity than my bank ;)

  • VP in IB - Cov
Aug 14, 2021 - 1:21am

No one really complaining about over abundance of rich white kids in banking. Was it all merit? Tbh all the lazy bust analysts I know are these: https://www.wallstreetoasis.com/forums/why-do-so-many-extremely-rich-ki…

Or let's get the most qualified bro out there who will HR himself out after his "social skills" got him too comfortable

https://www.wallstreetoasis.com/forums/no-return-offer-what-next

if you are purely going by talent - med and law schools went 50%+ female a while back. Go look at your high school class - girls were doing pretty well. You whining about how tough life is with your 40% is like some coal miner complaining about IT outsourcing guy in India taking his job and spreading China virus 

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Aug 15, 2021 - 11:15pm

lol. Asians can never find a way to be benefited. Whether it's nepotism or diversity, where fucked by the system either way.

Aug 14, 2021 - 1:55am

They need to balance this out. It's completely fine and helpful to inform underrepresented people that an industry exists, here's what it is and how to apply. I definitely could see a kid being out of the loop or hesitant to apply because they weren't sure they would fit in. But this stuff went way too far when they added a separate early process just for "diversity". It's such a joke that they're literally segregating the hiring process by perceived low social / racial class. In ten years this will have just been an awkward and patronizing experience for the "diverse" people who just want to work at a bank like the rest of us. 

Aug 14, 2021 - 7:11am

"When you're accustomed to privilege, equality feels like oppression."

Hiring based on merit and not race? Before the initial creation of diversity/AA programs in 1964, race discrimination was the first step. Looking at more recent times Harvard found in 2017, racial discrimination in hiring had not significantly improved since 1990.

Source: https://hbr.org/2017/10/hiring-discrimination-against-black-americans-h…

The finance industry is still overwhelmingly white. Here's the EEOC percentages by category Women (51.9%), White (79.2%), Black or African American (10.5%), Asian (7.9%), Hispanic or Latino (12.8%). % women is heavily skewed by retail banking, where they are 66.6%.

Source: https://www.bls.gov/cps/cpsaat18.htm

I'm also surprised at the clear distinction in attitude about vets being included in diversity. Then again, non-hispanic white (74%) and male (89%) are the largest demographics.

Source: https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2021/04/05/the-changing-face-of-a…

You can educate yourself or do the easy thing and sling MS to avoid facing the reality that the white male is in fact, not being oppressed by diversity programs.

Aug 14, 2021 - 9:59am

Hey dealkuro, thanks for providing your opinion. 

You may have missed the part of my OP where I quoted that ~60% of the summer analyst spots had already been given to diversity / women program hires before the recruitment process had even started. And for the remaining ~40%, we have been encouraged to strongly consider diversity in our assessment. You are clearly at a serious disadvantage if you happen to be white / man / straight / cisgender etc. regardless of your actual qualifications for the job. 

In my view, as a society we should be striving to treat everyone fairly as individuals and caring less and less about what one's superficial group identity is. You will never get perfect representation across genders / race across all jobs / careers. And the reason for this is not necessarily sexism / racism. Is it sexism that men outnumber women in engineering / computer science 10-1? Or that women outnumber men in nursing 10 - 1 and in teaching 5-1? There are differences in interests / values for the average man and woman, and across cultures that will mean you will never achieve perfect representation in every part of society. Instead of mandating quotas, I think it makes more sense to make opportunity to all careers as widely accessible as possible, and let individuals decide what is the right path for them.

Aug 14, 2021 - 12:56pm

Thanks.

I did not miss the split but a few things: that is one data point, for one bank, for one class, for one year; 60/40 is not a "serious" disadvantage. If vets are included in diversity at your bank, then there is even less of a gap.

My post was not a call for a perfect diversity representation, it was to highlight why these programs were created and continue to exist. You talk about number of people pursuing different fields, which while useful is not critical to my point. My point is for those who are pursuing XYZ career path, diversity programs are working to help reduce bias in the process. Bias that objectively and subjectively continue to exist.

Also, "fit" is one of the top criteria for offers. By definition this is not based on credentials.

As a society yes we should be treating people equally. Since 1789 this was the mantra. Yet this wasn't even true at the time those words were written, and we have never seen true equality in this country. I am not saying everyone is biased or discriminatory. I am saying that it does exist, and these programs are one way that firms are trying to combat it.

  • Incoming Analyst in IB - Gen
Aug 14, 2021 - 5:26pm

I love that you use the 10-1 male:female ratio in engineering. They have the same hiring situation going on behind the scenes. The situation is even worse over there. While they don't have has many diversity forums/symposiums it's even easier for diversity candidates to get offers. My friend did lots of resume drops and interviews and got an offer and accepted. A couple of months after she submitted her resume, a company reached out and wanted to set an interview. She told them she had already accepted an offer. That company then asked her how much the firm was offering and without interviewing her gave her an offer and added 5/hr lmao. (This is a middle class white girl at a state school with a 3.4)

Aug 14, 2021 - 9:42am

What bothers me is less so the preference in hiring but more so the fact that White and Asian men are straight up shut out from programs. It's one thing to have a preference it's another thing to completely bar another race from participating. I would love to be apart of SEO or MLT but in the USA I have yet to see a White or Asian male be accepted into the program. I would love to be apart of Jefferies Sophomore program, Nomuras sophomore Program, or Citadels leadership development program or Apollo's Sophomore opportunities or even Google Bold immersion but once again White and Asian men are straight up not accepted into these. What about Girls Who Invest? I'd love an internship at baupost, bam or kkr? But hey due to being born with the wrong gender I will never have a chance to pursue any of these opportunity. Isn't that racist ? To straight up bar someone from an opportunity just because of the way they were born? I'd love to see someone explain this one.

  • Prospect in IB - Gen
Aug 14, 2021 - 10:36am

I thought about this, is there a legal case to be made these groups are discriminatory? Especially if they bar Asians which are a protected class in the United States. I don't know enough to say but it seems there could be a case?

  • Incoming Analyst in IB - Gen
Aug 14, 2021 - 5:38pm

It's self selected. All you have to do is apply and click that you identify as black, Asian, a female, a vet or whatever. Idk why you complain about a women taking your spot or something when it's rich white/Asian guys who are. My random Midwest suburban prep school has had 100+ white/Asian guys break in after 4 years of college. In the past 3 or so years kids have gone to GS TMT, Bain Capital, centerview, PJT RX, Lazard, Evernote, HL rx, and every BB on the street. 

Aug 14, 2021 - 9:50am

Injustices in the 70s 80s 90s and early 00s through hiring of straight white males, and now you are complaining minorities are being more focused on for a small blip in time? If you really are that salty and myopic, just change your gender or sexual orientation and apply that way and then when you get into IB change it back. 

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Aug 14, 2021 - 10:32am

Yes, please let me, a 20-something with absolutely no impact on this pay the price for the mistakes of my ancestors. How about excluding German youngsters from banking due to their ancestors' actions in WW2? Or excluding youngsters from the Nordics due to their viking heritage? Seems only fair considering the harm they have caused, no?

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Aug 14, 2021 - 11:17am

This is just an example of discrimination. Pick any other - it does not have to be exclusion for the argument to work.

The fact that you are not capable of extracting a general point from clear examples like this make it seem like you are not too bright and perhaps aiming to use 'diversity' as a means to get ahead.

Regarding your point: There only needs to be if diversity candidates are inferior, in which case they should not have the job in the first place. If diversity candidates are in fact superior and do not receive the jobs, the problem is not a lack of diversity programs but a fundamentally flawed hiring system altoghether, in which case this should be fixed from the bottom. 

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Aug 15, 2021 - 4:43am

Could you explain what you mean by fixed from the bottom? The managers making the hiring decisions see taking action to have diverse intern classes as close to the bottom as they can get.

Aug 14, 2021 - 11:08am

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  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Aug 14, 2021 - 11:23am

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Aug 14, 2021 - 1:58pm

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  • Intern in IB - Gen
Aug 14, 2021 - 8:35pm

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