Working in Manhattan’s financial district there is one specific phenomenon I notice everyday: the men going to work on Wall Street wildly outnumber the women. From the moment I walk out of the subway and onto Wall Street, it seems like I am instantly plunging into an endless flock of men in suits.
Naturally, I began to ask myself what was causing this situation. Women make or influence 85% of consumer decisions in the U.S. Additionally, women control more than 60% of all personal wealth in the U.S.* Considering these statistics, there seems to be a major disconnect between who runs Wall Street and the people who are actual driving sales in the market.
Ironically, studies show that leaders with, “softer qualities,” most commonly linked to feminine characteristics, gain more success over time.** Researches have shown that these positive emotional experiences between employees and employers ultimately result in better relationships, higher networking potential, and more business success. Delving even further into this analysis, personality characteristics deemed, “masculine,” often result in negative professional experiences. If the current, “machismo,” characteristics dominant in the current leaders of the business world have proven to be ineffective, why aren’t more people making strides for change?
We know the dire truth that women are outrageously outnumbered in the world of finance. But what can we do to solve the problem? By simply taking steps to work towards becoming financially stable ourselves, we set an example for the next generation to follow. Talking to other women and your children about money erases the archaic notion that finances are a socially unacceptable discussion topic. Additionally, not shying away from the adversity currently present in finance helps to end the stigma that women cannot be in charge. Giving young girls tangible female role models they can aspire to become in the business world is crucial to correcting the ratio dilemma present on Wall Street, and the best way to do this is by becoming financial role models ourselves.