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Commentary: Women still disadvantaged in male-run business world

The boys club is getting bigger, and I am not a part of it.

Probably because—well I’m not a boy.

Stereotypes, thanks to the magic of social media, and memes have become a constant source of jokes today, and quite frankly I find a lot of them hilarious. My sister yelled at me from the couch to “get in the kitchen and make her a sandwich,” and I laughed (so maybe I am part of the problem).

Still, a line needs to be drawn between taking things too seriously and not taking things seriously enough. If I got upset about everything that could be defined as a stereotype, I would just end up angry… all the time.

That line though, has been stomped on a good bit by the wonderful fellows over at Wall Street.

Barefoot and pregnant and pink collar jobs didn’t have to be my destiny, or so I thought until “New York Magazine” published “There Are No Women on Wall Street Because It’s a Fraternity.”

Apparently, I’m not getting a job.

J.P. Morgan, Hellman & Friedman, LLC and Wells Fargo have all been found to hire and give preferential employment to certain fraternities (with arguably unethical practices). I guess the brotherhood really doesn’t die after graduation.

Let’s pull out the keg and get the applications rolling, please.

The notion that I should be domestic follows me heavier than others. I’ve been nominated to bake a cake for whatever potluck is happening more times than I can count — and I have never minded it, because so what if I like to bake?

Yet now, despite the efforts I have made to shed that stereotype—and my thinking I could outwit the boys of the world—fraternity brothers apparently still have a leg up on me within the professional sphere.

“We exchanged a grip, and he said, ‘Every Sigma Chi gets a business card,’” Conor Hails of the University of Pennsylvania’s Sigma Chi chapter told Bloomberg. “We’re trying to create Sigma Chi on Wall Street, a little fraternity on Wall Street.”

A handshake and I’m out.

Personally, I am not striving to finagle my way into the financial sect of America, but if one male dominated occupation is booting women out, who else is? Recruiting emails are going straight to fraternity members’ inboxes and leaving others out.

No fear, though, fellow ladies. You might not be able to get special treatment for a coveted position or internship at the top financial companies, but you can be an administrator to one of the fraternity members who likely took the position.

According to Bloomberg, 24,000 of 32,000 administration jobs at Citigroup are held by women. At least this way, the ladies can get a seat up close to the action, just not in it.

I understand networking and using your resources. Joining a fraternity means you also join the vast web of fraternity alumni, but when fraternity brothers outnumber women four to one, that just doesn’t add up to me. That isn’t even the ratio of men to women—it’s brothers to women.

Members of fraternities resumés are somehow ending up at the top of stacks, and it’s becoming more clear it isn’t for their qualifications. (According to “New York Magazine,” Wells Fargo sent an email to Dartmouth’s Alpha Delta chapter saying the members resumés would float on up from the bottom of the pile.)

No need to get bent out of shape, though, they clearly have great reasoning for why they prefer fraternity brothers— they want to hire “people (they) can get along with.”

Finance has long been a male dominated trade, there is no arguing that, but is it really necessary to make it even more difficult for women who do want a position? Domesticated and pink collar jobs should not be the only ones made easy and readily available to female students and graduates.

With this recent discovery, the already disheartening experience of looking for a professional, non-typical job for a woman is just getting even better. A big thanks to the boys who are still running the show on Wall Street.

2 comments

  1. I had an excellent conversation recently with my Buckeye grad when she mentioned something Oprah said about Gayle. Like I told my child sadly to be a success “mothers” do have to make sacrifices. Yes the media will decide who is the supermom we should worship but they’re usually RICH with the ability to set-up the “media driven fantasy (hint hint Gisele)” of the great mom!!! When I gave up my career (fighting the good ole boys) my children became happier. My advice to women who want to be a “wolf on wall street” is to at least try!!! I so admire women like Suze Orman and Melody Hobson for breaking that “financial” glass ceiling with “intelligence/hard work!!!”

  2. i heard jimmy johns is hiring

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