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Comments (77)

Most Helpful
Sep 27, 2021 - 2:54pm

This will be controversial but I dont care:

Banking inherently sort of sucks - lots of annoying and demanding MDs and Directors, VPs

But my experience has been that the female seniors are uniformly the worst to work for.  Tons of comments, tons of formatting fixes, never pushes back on clients, micromanagement galore, shaky meetings, over emphasis on drafting "perfect" emails...

Now are there male bankers that act that way - of course (some of my worst banking experiences have been working with men).  But, I have worked with several "chill" and confident male seniors that are able to see the forest from the trees and not worry about the little stuff that doesn't matter.  They also are more likely to tell a client no or that their idea or deadline is not going to happen.  I have NEVER experienced this with a female MD.

Words you will never hear from a female MD: "Lets do this meeting without a deck - should be able to verbalize our intent and purpose here"

I guarantee Solomon Sisters will absolutely suck for junior bankers.  They will preach it up how they are "inclusive" and "different" and value human beings, but the amount of formatting fixes, comments, micromanagement, emails, and passive aggressiveness will make it miserable for any junior working there.

Expecting to get lit up by this comment, but I stand by it.

edit:

And the fact its "backed by Lazard"  (a known sweatshop) makes it even more likely to absolutely blow for the juniors.

  • Associate 1 in IB - Gen
Sep 28, 2021 - 9:01am

The women in my class who recruited for IB said that the female seniors consistently treated them the worst. I don't know what it is (general cattiness, the feeling that they had it tougher when they came in, something else) but that was a consistent pattern. 

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  • Intern in IB - Gen
Sep 28, 2021 - 11:52am

I speak in generalizations, but for women, everything is politics and everything is personal. For men, it's not necessarily like that. Sure there are plenty of assholes who are men too. But between men it's often understood if there's a conflict, it's not personal and once the issue is resolved, you're back to being on good terms again. Generally women in positions of power are not able to comprehend this. 
 

Plus men tend to be very direct with their communications. If you screw something up, a man might shout at you, but he'll tell you straight up. He'll basically say "fix this and don't make this mistake again", learn your lesson and the problem's solved, no long term hostility or anything. On the other hand, women will try to do anything they can to make you look bad about it and make themselves look good. And they do it in the most passive-aggressive and indirect way. They make sure everyone knows you screwed up and they were the ones to clean it up, while sometimes acting fake nice to you (or being a huge asshole, it's usually one or the other). And it's often over very petty things too, not important things.
 

It is better that men just confront things head on, as the whole female political passive-aggressive approach creates a lot of bad blood and tension throughout the team, and contributes to a very bad overall culture.

  • Analyst 3+ in IB - DCM
Sep 29, 2021 - 7:15pm

This is an extremely cold take in my opinion. Women seniors have been the absolute BEST to work for in my experience. Women tend to be way more EQ than IQ, and that makes them concerned about my time and not wasting it. Honestly the fact that this got so many upvotes shows the crowd on WSO. Your feelings are your feelings, but I would argue you are bringing some bias to the table. I worked at a fairly large shop, and I have had so many conversations where people agree that women are the shit to work for in IB. That is obviously a generalization, but to say they are the worst to work for is just BS.

I-Banking has a shit ton of men so of course you are going to have the full spectrum of chill MDs to utter assholes. You are just cherry picking the good ones while ignoring the fact that of your asshole MDs, most are men. Of course, of your chill MDs, most are men. I don't even need to know where you work to know that, it's just statistics.

Sep 30, 2021 - 8:09pm

I disagree. Have worked with several MDs that have don't exactly what you're saying they don't. Two of them the rainmakers in their respective offices. Everyone situation is different but I think you're generalizations are just too..general. Again, my favorite MD has been a rainmaker unafraid to say "we won't do this deck" "let's go into it without materials" etc and guess what she pulled the most at the office. Just putting it out there

  • Intern in IB - Cov
Sep 28, 2021 - 6:03pm

sooner or later they'll realize it for themselves that they are just not compatible with corporate work

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Sep 28, 2021 - 8:09pm

this is the real controversial statement.  but thats actually a good thing

do you really want your own mother to be compatible with investment banking?  your daughter?  your wife?

bad enough that men do this...but women?  why do we want to make this job more inclusive, it sucks dick.

its like all the women crying about how they want to be front line infantry soldiers, how the past regs banning them were non inclusive.  you really want to go get mowed down by a machine gun and have your guts hang out of your abdomen with all men?  this is progress?

Sep 28, 2021 - 9:50pm

Bravo for the ex-BofA banker who is taking advantage of the wokeness to surely launch herself into the top-tier of finance leaders. I actually think they will have a decent amount of success being the #2 or #3 bank on deals, just because the super woke companies will love the free publicity and PR points for including them. I can already smell the 'you go girl' headlines...

"INSERT COMPANY becomes first company to IPO with a female CEO and female transaction advisor"

"INSERT COMPANY has made history with its all-minority C-suite and advised by a minority-led investment bank"

Oct 1, 2021 - 3:49pm

I'm only laughing because of how absurd sh*t is these days that I had no hesitation in seeing this being exactly how and why it plays out

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Sep 29, 2021 - 1:14am

The payoff just isn't there for most women. Some are exceptions to the rule, but most aren't. The ones that are exceptions are an odd breed and there's survivorship bias in terms of the women that stay are usually very unusual and as a result they generally have weird relationships with other women and weird relationships with men. Here's why I say that I don't think the payoff is there:

I'm a guy. I did IB for a few reasons:

1) I wanted to provide for my future family and a majority of women don't have the desire or ability to be a top % earner, so I can't exactly bank on finding a wealthy girl, so I don't have a choice but to work and earn a lot. This sucks, but I accept it. Women struggle with the choice to work or not, men don't. It's just a fact to are expected to work whether you like it or not. I also know I give myself optionality by taking money/ career off the table when I select a partner. 

2) I know it will make me more attractive to women/ there are numerous studies that show if you are a top % income earner women basically will accept you being less attractive. I'm not a looker, so IB was a great way to overcome looking like a dog.

3) other men are basically forced to respect me due to my career and insight I can provide. As an adult, men basically only compete against each other in terms of their career/ power, so this ends up being decently fulfilling actually. 

Here's the problem in my opinion with women's optimization right now:

1) providing for your family is legit, but most men are deeply invested in being the primary breadwinner due to societal expectations, so I don't think the extra earnings helps women find a partner. I have friends that just wouldn't date a girl who makes more than them because it makes them feel emasculated. But more importantly, almost all the women in finance I have ever met are unwilling to date men they view as "less successful than them". This is weird because most finance men I know are actively looking for women who will do the childrearing responsibility, yet many high-earning women don't have that same view and appreciation of the childrearing role (maybe because they chose not to do it). If you want to be a girl in finance, you should look for a stay at home dad. Girls in finance usually are so competitive that they don't do the same optimization as men in terms of looking for a partner. Also, often the women have such a chip on their shoulder and so much pride over their job that they hold money over a guys head more than guys do to women. 

2) this payoff isn't there. Sadly, men for whatever reason don't care if a girl makes money. If anything, as mentioned, girls that make money makes them less attractive to many men. This blows and isn't fair, but it's reality. Women care about money and career when dating, men don't.

3) Because most other women don't place as much value in a career, emphasizing other things in life, they either resent or don't respect women with careers. So the deeper you go into a career as a female often the deeper you ostracize yourself from a majority of women who chose to be stay at home moms, enter the workforce part-time, or take less demanding career paths.

It sucks, but I think if I have daughters one day I will raise daughters differently than sons. We don't live in the same world and have different optimizations to happiness based on expectations of the opposite gender, expectations from our own gender, and the world around us. If you are a girl you eventually run into the problem and guilt of-

1) Do I want to compete to be the best mom?

or

2) Do I want to compete to be the best business person?

Men really only compete on one of these and feel very little/ no guilt about being a worse dad because dads generally are held to different standards in terms of childrearing. I don't dislike women in finance and some of my best bosses have been female, but I think they pretty consistently face dilemmas about their career that men don't face and I don't think it's rational for most women to do IB honestly.

Edit: would love to hear a girls perspective who disagrees.

  • Associate 1 in PE - LBOs
Sep 30, 2021 - 9:15am

There is much to unpack here, so I'll keep it brief.

You speak in absolute certain terms yet don't cite a single peer reviewed study, statistic, or shred of evidence in your argument. You're coming purely from a misogynistic place, and it's concerning that people can't identify this. 

You think that you speak for all men when you argue men don't care about a woman's career? It isn't a deciding factor, but I personally have no problems dating women who earn more than I do. Most social and confident men that I know are similar. When you value yourself based other qualities in addition to your career, you feel much more comfortable dating all types of people and will feel that you bring more to the table than just a check and a power trip.

If your masculinity and entire sense of worth is tied to your income and career, I highly recommend seeing a therapist. Maybe try exercise; women also like men who are physically attractive, just as men like women who are physically attractive. Men and women are not different species. 

How can you argue that someone is "attacking you" when you just put down an entire gender and spoke about them like Jane Goodall observing the apes? You're lacking self awareness. I don't know if you made that argument out of ignorance or in bad faith, but it was extremely hypocritical and made you look ridiculous.

Honestly, it sounds like you see yourself as Don Draper in Mad Men, and the reality is you sound like a lonely, physically inept, insecure man who's tethered his entire intrinsic value to his career. I hope it works out for you.

Oct 1, 2021 - 12:32pm

this is such a shit-brain, misogynistic comment and the fact that it got this many upvotes is concerning for this website. You act like it's the 1950s still and women dream about being a mom with a breadwinner husband. I know plenty of guys, like myself, who would be happy to date a female banker or someone who makes more money than them

  • VP in IB-M&A
Oct 1, 2021 - 3:30pm

Your arguments are fucking retarded.
 

Of course women look for career and earning potential in male partners. You said so yourself that most are incapable of being high earners themselves. How the fuck else are they going to survive and pay for their Netflix subscription 

  • Associate 1 in PE - Other
Oct 1, 2021 - 4:25pm

Ex-female banker here.

I don't disagree with your comment on the basis that men and women optimize for different things based on how our world works today. But, your fatal flaw is your assumption that this is how the world is and that the current (very broad) preferences for what men and women want in a partner/life will remain true both now and into the future. We are not in the 1900s anymore. We've made significant progress as a society to bring more women into higher education, into the workforce, and in recent years more men are open to paternity leave and playing a more active role in their children's lives. The world is changing and these preferences that you touched on will change with it. There will be women who don't want kids and value the option to not have motherhood as their primary life goal. Similarly, there will be men who want to share in the responsibility of parenthood and are willing and able to play an equally shared role (at least once the child is of school-age). 

Also, the dynamics you touched on with the few women who have been in the business long enough to be in a senior position are likely a result of exactly that. There are very few of them today, but as more young women join the industry and rise in the ranks, it won't be so uncommon and the dynamics will change. 

Last point, most people join banking not to make a career out of it but to get the skills and open career doors for other opportunities that use banking juniors as a feeder. This is another reason why women want in; not to be a future MD but to get the optionality to pursue other well paying careers that are less demanding if they so choose (i.e. corp dev, IR, VC)

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Oct 1, 2021 - 5:10pm

Thank you for providing just a great perspective. I agree with all these points and don't think my original post was meant to be static--I think it's a reflection on the world today, not in the future. 

1) On optimizing--there's a lag to progress. More female bankers today will for sure change optimization in 20 years, but I don't know if I think today the optimization is there yet. I also don't know if I believe we will ever get to 50/50 workforce parity at the senior levels in our lifetime. I think this starts to get to a nature/nurture argument, but men seem so much more power obsessed historically and I don't know if I see it changing. I also have so many friends that left intense jobs for part-time or no work to be a mom by choice. I think a genuine question is do we think an equal amount of men and women will want to be the primary caregiver role in 50 years? Again, I don't think so, but so many more women are going to college now it could flip--so I don't know honestly. Also, on splitting caregiving roles--I think very few couples actually have a 50/50 split, usually one has to sacrifice their career slightly for the other. I see women generally continuing to take on this role because I think they are just more considerate by and large and more willing to compromise (maybe nature maybe nuture, don't know). Also, there are some jobs where I just don't think you have the time to be able to parent and work effectively/ the partner of the person in the brutal job needs to cover a larger burden to make it work. The counter being couples where they both are extreme workoholics and neglect their kids in which case, why the hell did they have kids?

2) On the few women in business today--I think that's an amazing point that the more misogynistic people in this thread should observe. Stereotypes about female managers are probably going to be significantly less true in the future as more women advance. A 50 year old MD entered banking in a very very different time than today's undergrads. There might be people that left the industry then that would stay today. I find it pretty undeniable you will have a much better rounded upper management tomorrow versus today.

3) This is an awesome point. I think there's a great argument that it might even present more motivation to build a career early on (or enter banking), so that you later will have more opportunities for work life balance (if that's your goal). 

  • Analyst 2 in IB-M&A
Sep 29, 2021 - 5:59am

This looks like it will become a massive sweatshop, with the added issue that hiring based on race/ gender is a pretty easy way to end up with incompetent analysts.

This being said expect the people on top to make bank, as most companies will get them in deals just to show how "progressive" they are.

  • Intern in IB - Cov
Sep 29, 2021 - 2:12pm

lmfao America is such a joke of a country

"look at me! I have a vagina and I am doing banking, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE HATE ME SO I CAN BE CONTROVERSIAL PLEASE PLEASE GIVE ME ATTENTION PLEASE HATE ME SO I CAN BE LOOKED UPON AS MORE SUCCESSFUL PLEASE PLEASE VALIDATE ME"

If only Americans knew how hard reality actually is outside of their bubble would they only understand how stupid all this progressivism stuff is

Sep 30, 2021 - 4:36am

wouldn't it be great if the entire story was just made up by someone at Bloomberg as a honeytrap to get a chuckle out of the mildly insecure, mostly underf*cked WSO lad community's upset at the mere idea of this 😂

...I smell some serious Matt Levine energy here. 

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Oct 2, 2021 - 1:17am

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